Bullied Quadens family turns down Disneyland trip

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-51663852

Quaden BaylesImage copyright
Getty Images

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Over A$470,000 has been donated by the family of Quaden Bayles (L), who has been bullied at school for his dwarfism

The family of an Australian boy who gained global fame in a viral video after he was bullied have turned down a crowdfunded trip to Disneyland and vow to give the money to charity instead.

Yarraka Bayles posted a clip of her son, Quaden, crying after he was targeted at school for his dwarfism.

More than $308,000 (£240,000) has since been given to an online campaign.

His family told local media that they were touched by the gesture, but wanted to focus on “the real issue”.

“This little fellow has been bullied. How many suicides, black or white, in our society have happened due to bullying?,” his aunt, Mundanara Bayles, told NITV.

“We want the money to go to community organisations that really need it,” she added. “As much as we want to go to Disneyland, I think our community would far off benefit from that.”

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YARRAKA BAYLES

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The video of Quaden crying has been viewed millions of times online

The family said they wanted to give the money to two charities: Dwarfism Awareness Australia, and the Balunu Healing Foundation.

They said they were also in discussions with Brad Williams, a US comedian who started the campaign on GoFundMe, and who has the same dwarfism condition of Achondroplasia.

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Getty Images

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Quaden led out the Indigenous All-Stars during a rugby match last week

Mr Williams stated on the campaign website that “any excess money” from the Disneyland trip would be donated to anti-bullying and anti-abuse charities.

Under GoFundMe’s terms, all donated funds must be used “solely for the purpose you have stated on and in connection with your campaign”.

Aside from the campaign, since the video of Quaden surfaced online he has led a rugby league team out to their match in Queensland.

Celebrities like actor Hugh Jackman and basketball player Enes Kanter have also shared their support online, while parents in other countries have posted video messages from their own children.

In the confronting six-minute video that originally went viral, Quaden’s mother describes the relentless bullying experienced by her son every day. The family, who are Aboriginal Australian, live in Queensland.

If you or someone you know needs support for issues around this story, in Australia you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636. In the UK these organisations may be able to help.

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