The story of Quaden Bayles, a 9-year-old Australian boy with dwarfism, has gone viral, with thousands of social media uses allying to help him after he was bullied at school for being "ugly." Comedian Brad Williams launched a GoFundMe page to raise $10,000 to send Quaden to Disneyland that quickly raised more than $300,000. But there was backlash to the story, with some claiming to have "evidence" that Quaden is really an 18-year-old actor. However, there is more than enough evidence to support Quaden's story.
Quaden previously caught attention in 2015, when he was only 4 years old. His mother, Yarraka Bayles, took him on Studio 10 in Australia to discuss another bullying incident, notes Snopes. If he was only 4 at that time, he would be about 9 years old today.
Bayles has been sharing photos of her son on social media for years. Photos going back to 2012 show Quaden as an infant.
The "evidence" used to support the idea that Quaden's story was a hoax came from photos shared on his own Instagram page. They showed him in more adult poses, including one in which he wore a sweatshirt with the Gucci logo. One photo showed the young boy next to a lit-up "18" display.
However, sitting next to an "18" does not really prove Quaden is that old. In fact, one photo shows that it was taken at his friend Garlen's 18th birthday, with Garlen's name clearly visible.
Quaden's story went viral earlier this week when Bayles shared a heartbreaking Facebook Live to raise awareness of bullying. She revealed Quaden even attempted suicide.
"This is what bullying does," Bayles said in the clip. "Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends?"
After the clip went viral, it was quickly picked up by celebrities around the world who showed their support for Quaden.
"Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate," actor Hugh Jackman said in a video shared on Twitter. "Everyone, let's just please be kind to each other. Bullying is not OK, period."
Williams also launched a GoFundMe account to show Quaden he has support from people around the globe.0comments
"This isn't just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren't good enough," Williams wrote. "Let's show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it. I have been in touch directly with Quaden's mother. So I will have their information to book the flights. Funds raised will be spent on two airplane tickets for Quaden and his mother from Australia to Los Angeles. As well as providing a hotel, food, and tickets to Disneyland Park in Anaheim for multiple days. After all the flights, hotel, tickets, and food is paid for, any excess money will be donated to anti-bullying/anti-abuse charities."
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.