Hugh Jackman tells bullied schoolboy Quaden Bayles: 'You've got a friend in me'
Earlier this week, people on social media provided an outpouring of support for a Brisbane mom and her son after it was revealed the young schoolboy was being "constantly bullied".
Mom Yarraka Bayles live-streamed a video of her nine-year-old Quaden on Facebook as he sobbed uncontrollably following an incident with another pupil at his school.
Quaden was born with achondroplasia - the most common form of short-limbed Dwarfism - which Yarraka says has resulted in constant teasing from his peers, SBS reports.
In the video, Quaden talks about how he wants to die, telling his mom: "Give me a knife, I'm going to kill myself."You can watch the video below (warning: some people may find the footage upsetting):
Since being shared to Facebook on Tuesday, the video has since been viewed over 17 million times on the social media platform, and received more than 315K shares and nearly 150K comments (as of this writing).
Ms Bayles revealed to NITV News that the incident that occurred earlier that day involved another student at Quaden's school "patting him on the head like a little puppy" and "making references to his height".
Since live-streaming the video on Facebook, Ms Bayles says she has received an outpouring of support from the community, but also been criticized for the way she handled the situation. She says:
"I have copped a lot of backlash for it, I thought twice about deleting it [...] but I wanted people to see the effect bullying is having on my child. If I don't stand up and speak out for him, who will?"
However, the family has received a lot of positive responses from a range of people. First, comedian Brad Williams, who also has Dwarfism, started a GoFundMe in an attempt to raise $10,000 to help send Quaden and his mother from Australia to Disneyland in California.
At the time of writing, the GoFundMe has raised a staggering $192,000 - approximately 20x the original target.
Another star who has spoken out in support of Quaden is Wolverine star Hugh Jackman.
Taking to Twitter, Jackman shared a video to his 14.1 million followers simply captioned: "Quaden - you’ve got a friend in me."
In the video, Jackman tells Quaden: "Quaden, you are stronger than you know mate, and no matter what, you've got a friend in me. So, everyone lets please be kind to each other - bullying is not OK."
The 51-year-old Australian actor added: "Life is hard enough, so let's remember, every person in front of us is facing some kind of battle, so let's just be kind."
Nine-year-old Quaden is currently the face of Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism, a campaign group against bullying.
PLEASE, if you or anybody you know is having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to somebody or contact one of the mental health charities below:
CALM: www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
Heads Together: www.headstogether.org.uk
Mind: www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
Papyrus: www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
Samaritans: www.samaritans.org, 116 123
If you are a non-UK resident, please find a list of mental health charities HERE.