Australia's former world champion boxer Billy "The Kid" Dib knows what it's like to be bullied, so he felt he had to reach out to nine-year-old Quaden Bayles when his story went viral over the past week.
Bayles was bullied at his school for his dwarfism and is shown on a heartbreaking video posted by his mother sobbing and saying: "Give me a knife, I want to kill myself."
The 34-year-old Dib is one of many sports stars and celebrities - including "Wolverine" Hugh Jackman - who sent messages of support to Bayles and his mother. Dib spoke to the young body via Facetime on Friday.
"I was very upset when I saw the video and I couldn't fathom that a young boy who is only nine years of age would feel like that," Dib told the Post. "I felt I had to reach out. I told him I was looking forward to meeting him and he was really, really excited and happy. His mum was extremely happy.
"He has a condition and instead of people making life easier for him, they are making it more difficult. Growing up at school, I was heavily bullied, every day and that made me the man I am today. Some people are stronger than others. I didn't take it very well and I was scared to go to school.
"But I managed to get through it and held myself together."
Bayles mother, Yarraka, who is from Queensland, said Quaden had previously attempted suicide and she posted his video to raise awareness about bullying.
"This is what bullying does. Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends," she said in the video.
Hollywood star Jackman posted a video message to Bayles on Twitter, saying: "No matter what, you got a friend in me. Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate. Everyone, let's just please be kind to each other. Bullying is not OK, period."
American comedian Brad Williams, who like Quaden has achondroplasia dwarfism, has set up a GoFundMe page, raising close to US$200,000 with the hope of sending Quaden and his mother to Disneyland.
Sports stars and teams in Australia have shown their support with rugby league's Indigenous All-Stars team allowing Quaden to lead them out before Saturday's preseason NRL match against the Maori All-Stars on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
Dib, the former IBF featherweight and IBO super-featherweight champion, has a 45-6 win-loss record with 26 KOs in 54 career fights, including a loss to Amir Khan in July, 2019 in Saudi Arabia. You can follow Dib (@BillyDib) on Twitter and Instagram.
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