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Bullied Australian boy turns down Disneyland trip, donations will go to charity

An emotional video of 9-year-old Quaden Bayles went viral last week after his mother posted it online to show the impact of bullying.
Credit: AP
In this Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, photo, nine-year-old Quaden Bayles, right, leads the Indigenous All Stars on to the field with captain Joel Thompson prior to the National Rugby League Indigenous All-Stars vs Maori Kiwis match at on the Gold Coast.

A week after a GoFundMe campaign raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to send an Australian boy to Disneyland, the family has decided to turn down the trip and instead have the money go to charity. 

An emotional video of 9-year-old Quaden Bayles went viral last week after his mother posted it online. She said it was taken after picking him up from school where he had just been bullied. He was born with achondroplasia - a genetic disorder that results in dwarfism.

The video really took off after comedian Brad Williams, who also has dwarfism, decided to start a campaign to send the boy and his family to Disneyland. Soon donations began to multiply as celebrities and Good Samaritans pledged their support. As of Friday morning, more than $474,000 had been donated. 

Earlier this week, the family told Australian news outlet NITV News that they're going to skip the all-expenses paid trip to Disneyland so that the money can be used to focus on the bigger issue of bullying. 

Williams posted in the GoFundMe Thursday night that he's been in close contact with Quaden's family and "fully respect their needs and the needs of Australian First Nations people who are experiencing bullying and discrimination at extremely high rates."

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He announced that six bullying and discrimination charities will each be receiving around $66,000 raised from the GoFundMe campaign. Williams wrote that because the family has decided not to go to Disneyland, the remaining funds will support Quaden's direct medical help, education, accommodation costs, food to feed the family, and donations to any additional charities of his choosing.

"Bullies never win, and this fundraising effort shows that when bullies attack, communities stand proudly for what's right. Thank you for being a part of this global community of kind and awesome human beings," Williams wrote. 

If you contributed to the GoFundMe but now want a refund because the money isn't being used to send Quaden to Disneyland, you can contact the GoFundMe Customer Happiness team (https://bit.ly/383h679) directly. Refund requests will be honored until 11:59PM PST on March 12, 2020.

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