On Wednesday, the boy's heartbroken mother posted a harrowing video of the little boy breaking down and threatening to take his own life after becoming the victim of yet another bullying incident.
Young Quaden Bayles has been through an incredibly emotional rollercoaster ride over the past couple of days. On Wednesday, his heartbroken mother, Yarraka, posted a harrowing video of the little boy breaking down and threatening to take his own life after being subjected to another bullying incident. As we previously reported, Quaden, who was born with Achondroplasia—the most common form of Dwarfism—has faced discrimination all his life over the condition. However, since the heartwrenching Facebook Live video of the boy went viral on social media, he's been showered with love and support from people, including celebrities, all over the world.
Viewed over 18 million times in just two days, the viral video soon caught the eyes of several celebrities of the likes of actor Hugh Jackman and basketball player Enes Kanter, who reached out to Quaden and his mother with powerful messages of support. In a video message for the young boy, The Greatest Showman star said, "Quaden, you are stronger than you know mate, and no matter what, you've got a friend in me. Addressing Quaden's bullies directly, the 51-year-old added that "life is hard enough" without people going out of their way to hurt others. "So, everyone let's please be kind to each other, bullying is not OK," he said.
According to BBC, the hashtag #StopBullying began trending on social media with netizens sharing their own experiences with bullying and urged Quaden to "stay strong." Some shared video messages from their children extending their friendship to the young boy.
I showed my son Nick, who is 10, your video. He heads the anti-bully coalition in his class (which he created). Please DM me and Nick would love to chat, become pen pals, play games online, or even take Quaden to a @AZCardinals game with us! All the best ❤️ pic.twitter.com/wwpwCvbUwT— Ryan Pilgrim (@RhinoStealth) February 20, 2020
Meanwhile, Quaden has also received several exciting offers from those hoping to raise his spirits, including an invitation to an NBA game from basketball star Enes Kanter. Sports teams in Australia have also rallied behind the young boy with the Indigenous rugby league side inviting him to lead out the team for their clash with the Maori All-Stars on the Gold Coast on Saturday. Speaking to ABC, the 9-year-old's mother described the bullying he received as an Aboriginal boy with a disability as a "double-edged sword."
"It's every parent's worst nightmare; losing their babies and that's my reality every day. I have to prepare for the worst. The suicide attempts are very real, and people don't understand that. It's extremely hard but it's also strengthening. It's brought a whole family together, it's brought a whole community together, it's brought the short-statured people of the world together in making sure he's safe," said Bayles.
#QuadenBayles I don’t know you but I want you to know that you are loved. Millions of people are pulling for you. Don’t worry about the insignificant people that are hurting you. The pain you feel is real, but it’s temporary. I’m a 100% Disabled Veteran, and I’m in your corner! pic.twitter.com/hwS9AiWnYa— John T Dixon Jr 🇺🇸 (@JTDixonInks) February 21, 2020
Hey #QuadenBayles -you are awesome and you are loved. I was bullied a lot at school. There were days that I wanted to never go back and I wished I wasn’t who I was. But it got better. You’re a million times stronger than I was. The world is a million times better with you in it. pic.twitter.com/wicP0mt1Nx— Charlie Pickering (@charliepick) February 21, 2020
Hi Quaden. You are so strong & brave & I can tell you are super smart. Here’s my dog Indi. She’s very gentle & especially loves kids. I know she would love you. I hope she makes you smile. You are a very special person & your mum is amazing #QuadenBayles #bullyingstopswithus pic.twitter.com/bQMLsQDz30— Jane Kennedy (@Jane_L_Kennedy) February 21, 2020
Sweet little love, I am truly sorry you’re going through this. Don’t you dare listen to those terrible people. The world needs more beautiful, radiant, sweet souls just like YOU.#quadenBayles you make this world a better place.— Ambereve Ginunas (@JinkiesMsJenks) February 20, 2020
You are so loved. #WestandwithQuaden #stopbullying https://t.co/MAgMAqj7Wz
As for how Quaden feels about his sudden popularity, Bayles revealed that he described the journey from his awful day at school to the shower of support from across the world as "going from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life." Speaking to reporters, she said that the family was overwhelmed by the global support they've received and that Quaden was "very excited" to lead out the team at Robina Stadium. "We've always had amazing community support, especially from the footy boys," she said.
"They're all his uncles; [he's] related to most of them so they've always been there, but... we could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would've gone worldwide," Bayles added. She revealed that although her son dreamed of becoming a football player, "that's not going to be a reality and he knows that." Bayles expressed gratitude to the Indigenous rugby league side for giving her son the opportunity to experience the next best thing. "These uncles of his and our brothers and cousins are living the dream that he only dreams of. This is the closest thing for him to be able to get out on that field for him to play football. And if all he can do is run the boys out then that's enough for us," she said.