Murri boy, Quaden Bayles who has helped raise awareness of dwarfism turns six today.
As he officially transitions into childhood, starting school next year, Quaden's mum and his family are celebrating the milestone of seeing him turn one year older.
"It’s a birthday that I didn’t think he would see," Yarraka Bayles, his mum told NITV. "When he was diagnosed his future was very uncertain, and still is today with all the surgeries and appointments and complications that come along with being born with Achondroplasia.
"So every day is a blessing, but another year older is even better and it’s a huge celebration - we celebrate every day with him, but the fact that he’s made it to six is super special.”
Like many six-year-olds, Quaden is crazy for lego, Nerf guns and basketball. Yarraka told NITV that he was lucky enough to get a bit of everything this year, including money from the family to go shopping.
"He's looking forward to buying some more NBA memorabilia. He's always in his signature basketball jerseys and he wants a few more to add the the collection. He’s got – I think – 24 NBA teams and he’s missing only three, so, he’s on the hunt."
The Bayles Family are celebrating this afternoon in Redfern Park and despite being a last minute arrangement, hundreds of people from the community are joining them to share Quaden's milestone.
Born and raised in Brisbane, Quaden's older siblings are based in Sydney and this will be the first time that all will be together since Quaden was two-years-old. The family are not only expecting cousins, friends and friends of friends to attend, but also some of the notable Redfern footy stars, who send lovingly send Quaden a video 'birthday message' every year.
"I think I'm gonna need a bigger cake!" Yarraka laughs "I just made a little invite thing on Facebook this morning and now we've got over 100 RSVPs.
"He spent the last couple of birthdays in hospital, having brain surgery on his fourth birthday, so we’re just so lucky to be out this birthday."
Despite still being so young, Quaden has stood as a spokesperson and positive role model for dwarfism. By sharing his journey with others on his social media, Quaden and his mum receive messages from people all around the world asking for advice or support on the condition.
Quaden's mum says that there are no words to describe seeing his progress, overcoming the challenges he's faced since birth. His positivity is reflected in his character, and Yarraka considers herself lucky to have a son who's so good natured.
"He has this really special effect on people," she says. "He lights up the world. Everywhere he goes people just love him. He’s defiantly got a very special trait and that’s why I love to share our journey with people, because he can make people happy almost instantly - it’s very hard to have a bad day with him around, that’s for sure."
The Bayles Family welcome the Redfern community to join them for Quaden's birthday celebrations this afternoon at Redfern Park