BRISBANE, Australia (WJW) – The family of a 9-year-old Australian boy who went viral after his mother shared a video on social media of him being bullied at school has declined a crowdfunded trip to Disneyland.
Quaden Bayles, who was born with a form of dwarfism called Achondroplasia, won the support of well-wishers around the world who saw the video.
In fact, American comedian Brad Williams, who also has dwarfism, set up a GoFundMe account aimed at raising money to send Quaden and his mother to Disney. The page raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in less than a week.
Now, the Bayles family, who is very appreciative of the gesture, is saying they would rather the funds go towards organizations that combat bullying.
Quaden’s aunt Mundanara Bayles told Australia’s NITV News Thursday that while they are moved by the support, the family is foregoing the trip to focus on the bigger issues.
“What kid wouldn’t want to go to Disneyland, especially if you have lived Quaden’s life. To escape to anywhere that is fun that doesn’t remind him of his day to day challenges,” Mundanara told the news outlet. “But my sister said ‘You know what, let’s get back to the real issue’. This little fella has been bullied. How many suicides, black or white, in our society have happened due to bullying? 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.”
The family has selected Dwarfism Awareness Australia and the Balunu Healing Foundation as two organizations they would like to see benefit from the fund.
GoFundMe’s website states that “all donated funds will be used solely for the purpose you have stated on and in connection with your campaign, and under no circumstances may you use the funds for any other purpose.”
However, Williams’ description on the fundraising site also specified that any additional funds “after all the flights, hotel, tickets and food [was] paid for [would] be donated to anti-bullying/anti-abuse charities.” So, it is possible that the Bayles family may get their wish.
NITV says they are currently in discussions with Williams.
Meanwhile, the Bayles family is also working on a bill, tentatively titled “Quaden’s Law,” aimed at building emotional resilience and working with those who demonstrate traits and patterns of bullying.