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Her son Eric Kilburn Jr. is a 6'10" freshman in high school.
A local reporter at Hometown Life shared a unique and heartfelt story on March 16 about a mother struggling to find shoes that fit her 14-year-old son. The story resonated with parents everywhere; now, her son is getting the help he desperately needs. It's a wonderful example of people helping a family that thought they had nowhere to turn.
When Eric Kilburn Jr. was born, his mother, Rebecca’s OBGYN, told her that he had the “biggest feet I’ve ever seen in my life. Do not go out and buy baby shoes because they’re not gonna fit,’” Rebecca told Today.com. Fourteen years later, it’s almost impossible to find shoes that fit the 6’10” freshman—he needs a size 23.
The teen's height doesn't stem from a gland issue; he comes from a family of tall people. Both his parents are over 6 feet tall.
Eric plays football for Goodrich High School in Goodrich, Michigan, but doesn’t wear cleats, which led to a sprained ankle. He also suffers from ingrown toenails that are so severe he’s had two nails on his biggest toes permanently removed.
Last year, the family was lucky enough to stumble upon five pairs of size 21 shoes at a Nike outlet store. It was discovered they were made especially for Tacko Fall, the NBA player with some of the most enormous feet in the game. To put things in perspective, Shaquille O’Neal wears a size 22.
However, Eric soon grew out of those as well. The family was left with one more option: have orthopedic shoes made for Eric at the cost of $1,500 with no guarantee he won’t quickly grow out of those as well.
After his mother’s heartfelt plea to Hometown Life, the family got much-needed help from multiple companies, including Under Armour and PUMA, who are sending representatives to Michigan to measure his feet for custom shoes.
CAT has reached out to make him a custom pair of boots. Eric hasn't had any boots to wear for the past five Michigan winters.
Kara Pattison started a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the family to help them purchase custom shoes for “the rest of the time Eric has these feet.” It has raised nearly $20,000 for the family in just over a week.
“The success of this fundraiser is well beyond what was ever expected,” Pattison wrote on the site on March 18. “The Kilburns plan to open a bank account dedicated to Eric's future footwear and some specialized sports equipment. He can use this to get a helmet that fits for football along with pads. They will also look into a football and track jersey for him.”
The sense of relief felt by Rebecca, Eric and the rest of the Kilburn family must be incredible. It has to be frustrating to be unable to provide your child with something as basic as footwear.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Rebecca told Hometown Life. “I have been this puddle of emotions, all of them good…It’s the coolest thing to be able to say we did it! He has shoes! I am not usually a crier, but I have been in a constant state of happy tears…We are so grateful.”
Suddenly dogs everywhere need teddy bear robes.
There are a few kinds of dog parents: ones that only have outside dogs, those who have inside dogs but they're absolutely not allowed on the furniture and dog parents who treat their dog as if they birthed them themselves and give them every luxury invented for four-legged fur children.
Clearly, people are going to have feelings one way or the other about dogs and their place within a household, but I think everyone can agree that seeing a dog be pampered will always be adorable. Opie the Pit Bully is one of those lucky doggos who wound up living in the lap of luxury, and the pooch got to do a "pick a card" day to showcase that his owner loves him the mostest.
In a video uploaded to TikTok by Opie's owner because...ya know, opposable thumbs and all…Opie is faced with two cards that he can't read: 1) because he's a dog, and 2) because the cards are facing toward the camera. That doesn't stop the sweet puppers from playing along, though.
Opie quickly picks his first card to start off his "pick a card" day where everything is all about him. He starts off strong with the choice of wearing a teddy bear robe. But the choices are so good that he can't really go wrong. "PetSmart" or "dog park"? Both solid options for a dog date.
By the end of the date, Opie had gone on several adventures that resulted in cuteness overload. The video has over a million views and is full of comments agreeing that the pup is the goodest boy.
Watch the adorable doggy date below:
Do we want to see a part 2? 👀 PJs & robe by @toothandhoney code WILDLY10 to save #pitbulls #bullybreedsoftictok #pitbulls_official #pitbullsaresweet #cutedogs
Good for her for standing up for her child's culture.
A recently posted story on Reddit shows a mother confidently standing up for her family after being bullied by a teacher for her culture. Reddit user Flowergardens0 posted the story to the AITA forum, where people ask whether they are wrong in a specific situation.
Over 5,600 people commented on the story, and an overwhelming majority thought the mother was right. Here’s what went down:
“I (34F) have a (5M) son who attends preschool. A few hours after I picked him up from school today, I got a phone call from his teacher,” Flowergardens0 wrote. “She made absolutely no effort to sound kind when she, in an extremely rude and annoyed tone, told me to stop packing my son such ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ lunches."
"I felt absolutely appalled when she said this, as me and the teacher have, up until now, always maintained a very friendly relationship. She added that the lunches I’m packing my son are ‘very distracting for the other students and have an unpleasant odor.’ I told her that I understand her concerns, as the lunches I pack are definitely not the healthiest, but the lunches are according to my son’s preferences.”
The mother added that she usually sends her son to school with small celery sticks, blue cheese and goat cheese, kimchi, spam and spicy Sriracha-flavored Doritos.
“I ended the call by saying that I very much appreciated her worries, but that at the end of the day, I am not going to drastically change my son’s lunches all of a sudden, and that it’s not my fault if other students are ‘distracted’ by his meal,” the mother continued. “It is very important to me what my son enjoys, and I want him to like my lunches.”
The teacher replied with an email saying the mom's response was "unacceptable" and that his lunches were “just too inappropriate to be sent to school any longer.”
“I haven’t responded yet and don’t want to. I want to maintain a healthy relationship with my son’s teachers. I am confused as to what to do,” the mom ended her story.
It’s clear that the teacher is way out of line in this situation because the child is eating food that is entirely normal in Korean culture. It may have a strong odor to those who aren’t used to it, but that’s just an opportunity for the teacher to explain to the children how people from different parts of the world eat different types of food. It’s not that hard.
The only reason the teacher should have any choice over what the child eats is if it is egregiously unhealthy and may cause them harm.
The most popular commenter on the forum suggested that the mother bring the issue to the principal’s attention.
"Report her to the principal," Thatshygal717 wrote. "Her comments regarding your son’s food are 'disgusting' and 'have an unpleasant tone' aka cough cough racist tone. She’s too inappropriate to be teaching at the school any longer."
Another commenter, muffiewriters, assured the mother that she was doing nothing wrong. "Your son's food is perfectly normal," they wrote. "For a 5-year-old. Your family's food is normal. The teacher is TA for not recognizing that.”
The mother hasn’t shared what she did next, but she’s handled the situation perfectly so far. She told the teacher that it’s not her fault if other kids are distracted by her food and that she will not change her son’s diet to please other people.
The beauty of America is that we are a country of many different cultures mixed like a beautiful bowl of salad. It’s great that so many people supported the mother and reminded her that her family has every right in the world to eat the food they love, and if it bothers anyone, they can keep it to themselves.
P.S. That teacher has no idea what she’s talking about. Korean food is delicious.
Way to go, daddio!
It’s been an exciting time for a couple of tortoises at the Houston Zoo—and really, for tortoises everywhere.
The zoo announced on its blog that their oldest resident, Mr. Pickles, a 90-year-old radiated tortoise, and his 53-year-old companion Mrs. Pickles (that’s quite an age gap there sir, but no judgment) recently welcomed three new hatchlings.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, here are the new baby names: Dill, Gherkin and Jalapeño.
Clearly, Jalepeño is the spicy one of the bunch.While this news is certainly momentous for Mr. and Mrs. Pickles, it’s also a huge achievement for the entire species, which is currently critically endangered.
Mr. Pickles has been a resident of the Houston Zoo for 36 years, and during that time had never produced offspring. So the staff, understandably, weren’t expecting incoming hatchlings any time soon. But then, just as the herpetology keeper was closing up for the day…surprise!
Apparently it was a very good thing that the keeper noticed the eggs. As the blog explained, the soil in humid Houston “isn’t hospitable” to the drier earth of Madagascar, so without human assistance, the eggs likely wouldn’t have hatched. Talk about divine timing.
Due to overcollection for illegal sales, combined with the fact that radiated tortoises naturally don’t produce much offspring, their numbers in the wild have severely dwindled. So much so that they are expected by some to go extinct in the wild, making captivities all the more important.
First-time father Mr. Pickles has made all the more important of a contribution, since he is considered the most “genetically valuable” radiated tortoise in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.
Basically, the zoo said it best. “These baby Pickles are a big dill.”
As for Dill, Gherkin and (my favorite) Jalepeño, the trio will live in the zoo’s Reptile & Amphibian House until they grow big enough to reunite with their parents.
Grace Linn speaks for millions of Americans.
Four hundred years ago, copies of William Tyndale’s English translation of the Bible were publicly burned by the bishop of London, with church authorities insisting that the Bible should only be read in Latin (and only by the clergy). In the centuries since, many books we now consider classics such as Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe," Jack London's "Call of the Wild," Walt Whitman’s "Leaves of Grass," Victor Hugo’s "Les Misérables, Charles Darwin’s "Origin of Species"—even Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and "Benjamin Bunny"—have been banned or censored in one way or another in various countries.
Battles over books are nothing new, but once in a while, they become particularly ugly or absurd, prompting people to speak out against book bans.
People like 100-year-old Florida resident, Grace Linn, whose speech at a Martin County School Board meeting has gone viral.
Author Jody Picoult, whose books have been in the crosshairs of the school district's book policy that saw 92 titles pulled from shelves for removal or review, shared the video to her TikTok channel where it's gotten a wave of supportive responses.
"I am Grace Linn. I am 100 years young," the centenarian began. "I'm here to protest our schools' district book-banning policy."
Linn explained that her husband, Robert Nickel, was killed in action in World War II at age 26.
"One of the freedoms that the Nazis crushed was the freedom to read the books they'd banned," she said. "They stopped the free press, banned and burned books." She went on to say that the right to read is an essential right guaranteed by the First Amendment, yet it is continually under attack "by both public and private groups who think they hold the truth."
Linn shared that she made a quilt last year, at age 99, in response to the book bans taking place around the country and in Martin County. Each quilt square shows a stack of books with titles of books that have been banned and targeted, including "Harry Potter," "A Wrinkle in Time," "Of Mice and Men," "Beloved" and more. The quilt's purpose, she said, was "to remind all of us that these few of so many more books that are banned and targeted need to be proudly displayed and protected—and read, if you choose to."
Linn said that burning books and banning books is done for the same reason: fear of knowledge.
"Fear is not freedom. Fear is not liberty. Fear is control. My husband died as a father of freedom. I am a mother of liberty."
I am so inspired by everyone who spoke up against book bánning at the Martin County School Board meeting today, including Grace Linn. Grace is, in her words, “100 years young.” She spoke about witnessing the rise of fascism during WWII, about losing her husband to the war when he was 26, and about protecting our freedom to read. Thank you, Grace, for reminding us that this is a part of history we must not repeat.
People loved Linn's passionate defense of the freedom to read books, calling her an "inspiration," a "hero" and a "helluva woman" in the comments.
Naturally, different people have different opinions about what books are appropriate for different ages, what should be required vs. voluntary reading and what kids should be shielded from. That's the whole point. Librarians have long been trusted to curate generally age-appropriate material for children's libraries and parents have always had the final say in what they allow their children to read, but laws such as the one passed in Florida are attempting to exert more control over what books are available. Not helping matters is that the law is vague and there has been a great deal of confusion as to whether educators could face felony charges for having offending material in their classrooms. Especially when offending material includes anything considered "critical race theory," which could theoretically include any books that talk about racism in American history realistically.
Banning books requires setting subjective criteria for problematic material, and as we've seen with many of the book-banning policies, that criteria can easily stretch into ridiculousness. Who decides and by what measure are the questions that book bans leave on the table. Thank you, Grace Linn, for standing up for the freedom to decide for ourselves what we and our kids get to read.
Plenty of teasing. Lots of love.
Let’s face it, platonic relationships between men and women rarely get the same amount of attention as romantic ones, to the point where we debate whether or not they can actually exist in the first place.
That’s what makes a clip of Jennifer Aniston gushing about her decades-long friendship with Adam Sandler so cool to watch. There’s no Harry-Met-Sally-ing here, just one pal talking about another pal.
Aniston sat down with Jimmy Fallon to promote the film “Murder Mystery 2,” starring both Aniston and Sandler, but the conversation quickly veered into several anecdotes about “The Sand Man,” including how the two first met at a deli in their 20s.
As with any healthy friendship, there’s plenty of ragging on each other.
During the interview, Aniston teased Sandler for his schlubby fashion choices, like showing up to a “nice dinner” in Italy wearing his signature basketball shorts and turquoise velour top which “had no relationship to the pants.” This, she joked, was Vogue’s fault for dubbing him a style icon. "Thanks, Vogue!” she said.
Aniston then quipped that Sandler does his fair share of calling out, primarily when it comes to her dating choices. Usually, the reaction is, “What are you doing? What's wrong with you?" Aniston yelled, doing her best Sandler impression.
But at the end of the day, there’s also genuine care. Aniston told Fallon that when working together, she is always looking out for her buddy’s well-being since he often overlooks it.
“He’s so concerned with taking care of everybody else, which he really does, but he doesn’t take care of himself,” she said, adding, “I’m sorry for calling you out on national television, Adam, but you have to know this.”
That’s why Aniston “makes him smoothies” and “gives him all sorts of Chinese herbs when he’s exhausted.” How stinkin’ cute.
Sure, friendships between men and women can (and often do) lead to romance. But even when they don’t, as Aniston can probably attest, there is a certain unsung joy of platonic love that deserves to be celebrated.