Quaden Bayles' family turn down GoFundMe Disneyland trip
Quaden Bayle’s family has turned down the gift of a Disneyland trip funded by thousands of donations on GoFundMe.
Comedian Brad Williams, who, like Quaden, was born with a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia, set up the GoFundMe with the intention of raising $10,000 to help send the nine-year-old and his mother to Disneyland California.This is the moment Quaden said he wanted to "kill himself" after being bullied (warning: some viewers may find it upsetting):
"I’m setting up this GoFundMe to let Quaden know that bullying will not be tolerated, and that he is a wonderful human being who deserves joy. I want to fly Quaden and his mother to America, get them a nice hotel, and bring them to Disneyland," Williams wrote as part of the GoFundMe campaign.
He then adds: "This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough. Let’s show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it."
After Quaden's heartbreaking story went viral, it came as no surprise that people all around the world wanted to get on board with helping the young boy.
However, no one could have guessed just how much would be raised in the GoFundMe campaign. In fact, as of this writing, the figure is at $473,967 - nearly 50-times the original target.
But despite the thousands of donations made towards the cause, the Bayles family won't be accepting a penny of the money raised - and as such, the Disneyland trip will not be going ahead.
In an interview with Australia's NITV News, Quaden's Aunty Mundanara Bayles explained that the family would prefer that the money went to charity.
She said: "What kid wouldn’t want to go to Disneyland, especially if you have lived Quaden’s life. But my sister said: 'You know what, let’s get back to the real issue'. We want the money to go to community organizations that really need it.
"They know what the money should be spent on, So as much as we want to go to Disneyland, I think our community would far off benefit from that."
Last week, Quaden Bayles rose to international attention when his mother posted the above video showing the distraught nine-year-old saying he wants to "kill himself" after being bullied.
In the wake of Williams' fundraising efforts, many Twitter users have been taking to the social network to praise the comedian.
"If God created one person to help this kid, it's certainly you Brad," one user wrote. "You have a big heart and I am confident you can help raise this [kid's] self-esteem."
Another added: "You are amazing for doing this for him and others that are bullied. I hope things improve for him. There is far too much hate and ignorance in this world."
Even actor Hugh Jackman had a message for Quaden:
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."
PLEASE, if you or anybody you know is having suicidal thoughts, 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.