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Family

Richard Dreyfuss shared intimate photos of the moment he realized his son had a congenital disorder

"The most traumatic and emotional moment of my life was on June 14 1986."

richard dreyfuss, ben dreyfuss, peters anomaly

Richard Dreyfuss at the Webby Awards.

Actor Richard Dreyfuss (star of “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”) shared intimate photos of the birth of his son Ben that showed the shock and confusion parents experience when realizing their newborn has a birth abnormality.

On June 14, 1986, Dreyfuss and his wife Jeramie Rain had their second child and they could tell something was wrong shortly after his delivery. “Your eyes are not the same,” Ben would later write about his birth. “One is blue, the other is grey. One is hiding under a partially opened eye-lid; the other is extending far beyond it, like a potato exploding out of an egg cup.”

It was the “most traumatic and emotional moment of my life,” Richard wrote on Twitter. “My wife Jeramie gave birth to our second amazing child. And, as these pictures show, we slowly realized there was a problem with our son.”


The actor’s photos are touching because they show the parents experiencing the incredible beauty of the birth while struggling to make sense of the unexpected.

“I held him and promised him that I would do everything I could [to] save him. That I would love him no matter what,” the “Mr. Holland’s Opus” star wrote.

Ben would later be diagnosed with Peters anomaly, a rare genetic condition that causes a clouding of the cornea and eye-structure abnormalities. Over the first year of Ben’s life, he would have multiple eye operations and would eventually lose all sight in his left eye.

He explained what life’s like with one eye in a blog post his father shared at the end of his tweet thread. It’s a raw open letter to himself that details how his struggles with being different evolved as he developed.

It’s a revealing glimpse into the interior monologue of someone who knows he’s being stared at but everyone is too polite to bring it up.

“Eventually you come around to the idea that much more noticeable than the eye itself is your reaction to it,” he writes. “You couldn’t make eye contact with anyone for decades. Upon this realization, you decided to make piercing eye contact with everyone.”

Ben is a journalist who was in charge of audience development at Mother Jones for eight years. He has a popular Substack blog called “Good Faith” where he discusses the intersection of politics and social media from the unique perspective of a liberal with no problem pointing out progressive excesses.

Richard Dreyfuss’ photos of his son’s birth show that all the fame and acclaim in the world can be quickly dispatched when we see that there is something wrong with a child. But on a deeper level, they are an intimate look at the faces of parents whose lives have been upended in a moment they expected would be wholly joyous.

It’s a moment that many parents have unfortunately had to weather and hopefully, the photos will give them comfort knowing that the despair will soon be overcome by love.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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