A screengrab photo shows the Australian boy who has been a victim of bullying.
Quaden Bayles, the nine-year-old boy who in a heart-wrenching video said he wanted to kill himself after being bullied at school, had the "best day of his life" when he led out an all-star rugby league team in Australia on Saturday.
Bayles was taunted for his dwarfism and his mother had uploaded a video on Facebook earlier this week showing the youngster in tears in a bid to shed light on the effects that bullying has on young children.
"Give me a knife, I want to kill myself," an agitated Bayles said in the video, as he sobs in the car and buries his head in the seat.
He received an outpouring of support from around the world, including encouragement from celebrities such as Australian actor Hugh Jackman, and was invited to lead out the Indigenous All-Stars rugby league team at the Robina Stadium in Queensland.
Wearing noise-cancelling headphones, Bayles held the match ball and captain Joel Thompson's hand, leading the team out of the tunnel before their game against the Maori All-Stars, with a loud crowd cheering him on.
His mother Yarraka Bayles described the invitation as "going from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life.
"We could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would've gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy," she told reporters. "It's every parent's worst nightmare losing their babies and for me that's my reality every day.
"That's what I have to prepare for, the worst, because everything he is going through with his medical condition, the suicide attempts are very real and people don't understand that.
"There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying.
"It's been way too many and it's something that needs to be addressed, it's an international crisis and it demands urgent attention."
A GoFundMe page set up by comedian Brad Williams, who was also born with a type of dwarfism, has collected nearly $450,000 as he looks to fly Bayles and his mother to the United States so they can visit Disneyland.
The video of Quaden Bayles with dwarfism had gone viral on social media and has received a lot of positive attention from celebrities including a trip to Disneyland.
9-year-old Quaden Bayles was the boy in the video who showed distress and said he wanted to “die right now.”
The six-minute clip was posted by his mother, Yarraka Bayles.
On Friday, the clip had been watched more than 19 million times. The boy’s mother said she shared the video to create awareness on the impact of bullying.
"This is what bullying is doing and I want people to know how much this is hurting us as a family," she says in the video. "This is the impact that bullying has on a 9-year-old kid that just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun.”
In the video, Bayles can be overheard saying “I'm going to kill myself" and "I want to die."
Her appeal sparked an outpouring of worldwide support for the bullied boy, including from celebrities and athletes.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman said, "You are stronger than you know, mate" and urged people to "be kind" to each other, while Jackman posted his own video to the schoolboy on his Twitter account in which he tells Bayles, who has a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia, that he will always be his friend.
A number of other celebrities have shared their thoughts on the footage after it was shared on social media, including Mark Hamil, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
“The cruelty is as astonishing as it is heartbreaking,” Hamill wrote on Twitter.
Eric Trump — the son of US President Donald Trump — said the video was "absolutely heartbreaking.”
"This is one of the hardest videos I’ve watched,” Boston Celtics basketball player Enes Kanter wrote on Twitter. "No place in the world for bullies.”
A GoFundMe page started by American comedian Brad Williams has raised more than $140,000 in an effort to send Bayles on a trip to Disneyland in California.
"This isn't just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren't good enough," said Williams, who has the same dwarfism condition of Achondroplasia.
Bayles, who is Aboriginal Australian, has been invited to lead the Indigenous All-Stars out onto the field in their rugby league clash with the Maori All Stars in Queensland on Saturday.
"We could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would’ve gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy,” Yarraka Bayles told reporters on Friday. "There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying. It’s an international crisis and it demands urgent attention.”
The Greatest Showman star also sent a message to the child’s bullies, saying that “life is hard enough” without people going out of their way to hurt others.
"So, everyone let's please be kind to each other, bullying is not OK,” he said.
“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.”
The initiative was launched following a video that went viral on social media of children being bullied by their fellow colleagues on a school bus.
Bullying, particularly in schools, is a practice that should be totally banned. It has dangerous consequences for children who are at the receiving end.
No one has the right to bully others on the basis of colour, appearance, health issues and religion. All humans are the same and created by one creator that is God Almighty
Jawaher said, “I never hesitated to do it but I wanted to share and spread awareness even though people said it sounds risky and some people thought I wanted to make money out of it. I never wanted any of it, I wanted people to know about what’s happening inside school. I really felt proud for posting it and tried my best… even students and the school texted saying that they’re really happy…”
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