A heartwarming story shared by a local reporter at Hometown Life on March 16 has resonated with parents everywhere. The story is about a mother, Rebecca, who has been struggling to find shoes that fit her 14-year-old son, Eric Kilburn Jr. Eric is 6’10” and needs a size 23 shoe.
His height is not due to a gland issue but rather, he comes from a family of tall people; both his parents are over 6 feet tall. Eric plays football for Goodrich High School in Michigan but doesn’t wear cleats due to his shoe size, which led to a sprained ankle. He also suffers from severe ingrown toenails and has had two nails on his biggest toes permanently removed.
Last year, the family was fortunate enough to find five pairs of size 21 shoes at a Nike outlet store, made especially for Tacko Fall, the NBA player with some of the largest feet in the game.
However, Eric soon grew out of those as well. The only other option was to have orthopedic shoes made for Eric at the cost of $1,500, with no guarantee that he won’t quickly grow out of those as well.
Thank you to all who shared the original story and reached out with good wishes and tips! We have an update that shows the power of community! @UnderArmour @PUMA coming through with shoes! https://t.co/y4aLO5WwVP— Susan Bromley (@SusanBromley10) March 20, 2023
Rebecca made a heartfelt plea to Hometown Life, and the family received much-needed help from multiple companies, including Under Armour and PUMA, who are sending representatives to Michigan to measure Eric’s feet for custom shoes.
CAT has also reached out to make him a custom pair of boots. Additionally, Kara Pattison started a GoFundMe campaign to help the family purchase custom shoes for “the rest of the time Eric has these feet,” which has raised nearly $20,000 for the family in just over a week.
🚨| NEW: Michigan mom is struggling to find shoes that fit her 6 foot 10, 14-year-old son who has SIZE 23 FEET‼️😳 pic.twitter.com/x8Mu4JDcWR— Pubity (@Pubity) March 18, 2023
Rebecca, Eric, and the rest of the Kilburn family are overwhelmed with gratitude for the help they have received. They plan to open a bank account dedicated to Eric’s future footwear and specialized sports equipment, including a helmet that fits for football, pads, and a football and track jersey for him.
Rebecca expressed her gratitude, saying, “It’s been overwhelming. I have been this puddle of emotions, all of them good…We are so grateful.” This is a wonderful example of people coming together to help a family in need.