Quaden Bayles Was Born With Achondroplasia, but He Won’t Let the Diagnosis Define Him, and He Dreams of a Sports Career
Quaden Bayles is an ordinary Australian boy who loves sports and videogames and dreams of becoming a TikTok star. The only thing that sets him apart from his peers is his appearance. Due to a genetic condition, Quaden will never reach his natural height. This was the reason why he was bullied at school, so he wanted to stop his studies. But he didn’t give up and proved that no amount of offensive nicknames can stop him on his path to the dream.
Quaden’s mom couldn’t accept the boy’s diagnosis at first
Yarraka Bayles was supposed to be the first in the family to get a University degree, but an unexpected pregnancy changed her plans. At the age of 17, she found out she was expecting twins. When, 11 years later, Yarraka was going to become a mom again, she was very happy and looking forward to having a child. The woman felt great, the family was finally financially stable, and the pregnancy was going very well. It seemed that nothing could ruin her happiness.
But 3 years after her son Quaden was born, the doctors had bad news for the family. The boy was diagnosed with achondroplasia, an illness that prevents bones from growing. Yarraka’s world literally crumbled, and she needed several years to find peace with her son’s condition. She didn’t want to believe the doctors, so she and her husband broke up. “I felt robbed because I couldn’t enjoy just celebrating the birth of my beautiful baby.”
Quaden’s condition required him to visit the doctor regularly. During one of the sessions, Yarraka met other parents of children with the same problem. It became the turning point for her. She realized that other people also deal with similar problems, but at the same time, they live full lives. The support and understanding lifted a burden off her shoulders and Yarraka felt that she found the second family.
Together with other parents, she founded the organization Dwarfism Awareness Australia, which helps people find out more about the condition. And now, Bayles sees a new and amazing world she’d never see if she hadn’t had Quaden. Her life’s family is enriched by her unique son.
Quaden dreams of becoming a basketball or a rugby player
Even though Quaden has had to endure a lot of medical procedures and several surgeries, he doesn’t give up and fights for his dreams. He loves football and basketball and works hard to be able to participate in sports. His doctor admired the boy’s persistence and says that he has never seen a more talented patient.
Only Quaden’s relatives know how hard it is for him to get up from bed ever day. He feels like an old man in a baby’s body. His bones hurt due to early arthritis, and he has breathing problems because his lung capacity is not sufficient for the growing body. Quaden’s health is weak, but it’s not the only thing that hurts him.
Quaden hates being called cute
When people meet the boy, they call him baby, or cute. Some people even want to carry him. Quaden really hates it, because he’s not a baby. He says that people can be rude even when they don’t mean it.
He had the toughest time in school. His classmates would bully him, laughing at his height and calling him names. At some point, Quaden got hysterical, and even his mom couldn’t calm him down.
It was his worst day, and he didn’t know how he’d continue to live. His mom filmed his words, posted them online and asked people to stop bullying him and be more tolerant. In several days, the story went viral, and the Facebook post gained millions of views and encouraging comments.
Many movie and sports stars supported Quaden. Comedian Brad Williams even started a campaign on GoFundMe to raise money so the family could go to an amusement park. People raised $630,000, but Yarraka decided to give the money for charity, keeping only a small amount on Quaden’s trust.
It was a decision made with generosity and love. During a family meeting as they tried to decide what to do, they remembered the circumstances which had led to the fundraising campaign. Quaden’s story attracted attention and much-needed help, but many other people still needed help. So, they donated the money to Dwarfism Awareness Australia and Balunu Healing Foundation, helping kids with similar conditions. Yarraka is also working in support of a law that would protect kids from bullying.
Soon, one of the boy’s dreams came true — he was invited to a rugby game. He took part in the Indigenous All-Stars appearance, holding captain Joel Thompson by the hand. One of the players told Quaden, “We’ve got your back and just want to make sure that you are doing alright. We want you around, we want you to lead us out on the weekend.” Yarraka said that her son has always loved contact sports and rugby in particular.
Such worldwide support helped the boy speak out with his own opinion about bullying. He asked kids around the world not to listen to all the nasty things people say about them, and fight for their right to be who they are. His mom added, “A lot of people don’t speak out about it. They’re too scared. They don’t have a voice. So I feel that as I have a duty of care now. It’s my obligation as a mum and a community member to make sure people are aware of this incident. And by speaking out, we’re taking our power back.”
Director George Miller saw the viral video of the crying boy and decided to invite him for a small part in his film Three Thousand Years of Longing. Quaden was so good that Miller invited him to his next project, the sequel for Mad Max: Fury Road, where the boy was on the same set with Chris Hemsworth and Anya Taylor-Joy.
Quaden started going to school again, even though the process of returning was quite long. This year, he’s going to high school and wants to finish it as fast as possible to enter college. He dreams of becoming an athlete or an actor. He has always liked making people laugh, and cinema is the best place to do it. He has decided that when he earns his first million, he will buy a house and a car for his mom, help the homeless, and do other kind deeds.
We’re happy to hear Quaden’s story has a happy ending, and we hope that he’ll never have to deal with bullying again.