The social media tag #TeamQuaden encourages members of the community to get behind 4-year-old Murri boy Quaden Bayles living with Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, who was recently targeted and attacked by online trolls.
The cyber-bullying incident came after the child’s Brisbane-based mother posted a video of her son pulling faces at a mirror on Facebook in late-August.
Yarraka Bayles, who took and uploaded the video, has told media that she was horrified when she received heartless comments about her son and his condition, such as “…that’s one ugly kid” from strangers.
She told reporters there were about 10 negative comments posted online but given this is not the first time her son has been attacked because of his dwarfism, the incident is of an even greater concern.
“There are so many uneducated people in the world, it’s really sad that they don’t get to see the joy,” Ms Bayles told media.
“I would love them to come and spend the day with us, I invite them. He’ll change your mind the first minute you meet him.”
The Facebook campaign page, Stand Tall for Dwarfism, aims to raise much needed dwarfism awareness in the community and get behind Quaden by circulating the hashtag: #TeamQuaden.
It has amassed more than 4,000 likes to date.
The campaign administrators today shared a media story about the cyber-bullying attack and commented: “Haters are motivators so it's all good!”
Several supporters around the country have since taken to Facebook to share and comment on the post.
One person wrote: “Just keep being you Quadey!!! You are awesome and strong and gorgeous and I believe so many could learn so much from you young man !!stand small ya cheeky bugger your videos make me smile every single time !!!be proud of everything that is Quaden !!”
Another said: “Don't worry about what people think, they are just jealous they [don’t] have a sweet Caring person in [their] lives, stay strong , You're a Legend !!!!”
The child’s supporters have also written letters to a Facebook bully’s employer and parents to point out his actions.
Achondroplasia affects one in every 25,000 people. At four years old, Quaden is 65 centimeters tall.
Quaden, who was diagnosed with Achondroplasia when he was just three days old has struggled with health complications ever since. Earlier in 2015 he underwent high-risk brain and spine surgery after he began losing the use of his arms and legs as a result of building pressure on his spinal cord.
October has been declared National Dwarfism Awareness Month.
This period of recognition aims to raise awareness about the inaccurate stereotypes about dwarfs in the media and popular culture.
During the month, advocacy groups will also seek to circulate a positive message: that people born with a condition of dwarfism have the ability to accomplish as much as an average size person.
Australians wanting to take a stand against cyber-bullying, stand up for children unfairly targeted with negative comments online, and empower people with dwarfism are encouraged to jump on social media and share the hashtag #TeamQuaden.