ODESSA, Fla. - An inspiring Tampa boy has been in and out of the hospital his entire life, and still makes time to bring kindness to all. He wants to spread his message by throwing a birthday party, open to everyone and anyone.
Eric Piburn is on a mission to teach the art of kindness to others. He has been doing this for a while, and sometimes from his hospital room. He has brought cookies to officers, and flowers to nurses. The 12-year-old has had four heart surgeries, but still needs more work to his lungs and heart.
But there is still time for presents, he said during his visit to Good Day Tampa Bay. His party will be held on February 3 from 11 am. to 3 p.m. at Old McMickey’s Farm in Odessa. Piburn said there will be cake, superheroes, fun, and most importantly, activities to teach kindness.
“It’s going to be one of the best birthdays in the world,” he said. “I rest my case.”
Old McMickey’s Farm is offering discounted tickets for the public party. The money will go toward Eric’s medical fund. Guests will be treated to cupcakes, pizza, and visits from members of the 501st Legion dressed as Star Wars characters. There will also be superheroes and princesses from the organization, Costumers with a Cause.
Eric said he cannot wait to see Spiderman and Captain America. His birthday was actually in December, but he didn’t get a chance to celebrate it because he was in the hospital.
“Last year was really tough,” his mother, Randi, explained. “So, we’re just going to celebrate this year. We’re going to have a good time and have a great time and have a great party.”
“Let’s give mom a round of applause,” Eric said while clapping.
In 2018 Eric was named “Kindness Warrior of the Year” by Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay.
“We just intend to make 2019 his year of kindness,” said Amanda Romero, who is organizing the party, “and hopefully get Ellen’s attention.”
During Eric's time in the hospital, he also watches TV, and one show caught his attention: The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The message from the show is one that has stuck with him: Be kind to one another.
And Eric hopes it's a habit that he can teach others, and, maybe, get the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, herself. One day, he hopes to meet her.
Tickets to Eric's public birthday party can be purchased through Eventbrite.