Former football player named Shaquille O’Neal, popularly known as Shaq joined forces with Reebok as he wanted to help a teenager with bigger feet than him.
Shaq came forward to help a 6ft10 boy who lives in Michigan and was pleading for help because he didn’t find shoes for his 23 feet size.
In March, a boy named Eric Kilburn Jr. from Ortonville near Flint started making headlines when he along with his parents shared the struggles of finding the right shoes for him.
As per Daily Mail, “had been wearing size 22 shoes, but they were too small and caused painful calluses, blisters, and ingrown toenails.”
“His mom Rebecca, 36, pleaded for help finding shoes to house his feet, given that the average American male shoe size is 10.5.”
While describing the difficulties her family has to face when they go to find the shoes that would be perfect for their son, the mother shared with Today.
“I have spent hours crying, feeling like I’ve failed my child because I’m not able to find what he needs.”
The difficulties in looking for shoes that would fit perfectly to Eric caused many health issues for him too as he had felt discomfort and pain continuously after wearing small-sized shoes that would not fit him well.
He went through almost six surgical treatments on his feet for fixing in-grown toenails and also removing the nails of his two big toes permanently.
“At 14, he’s still growing. Most kids this big and tall at this age have an endocrine disorder, and he does not. He has no health issues with exponential growth,” Rebecca told.
“At one stage, Eric was forced to wear Crocs for two years, even during the middle of winter, because there were no other options available to him apart from pricey $1,500 custom orthotics that he would quickly grow out of.”
Eric’s mom told that it made her really frustrated sometimes when she couldn’t find the right shoes for her boy.
“It’s frustrating as his mom and not being able to find shoes, which is such a basic need. I can’t find shoes for my teenager. What can I do when his feet grow?” Kilburn shared with Today.
“The orthotics catalog was mainly Velcro shoes. Eric was like, ‘I’d rather be barefoot. It’s hard enough to stand out like he does. You don’t want to be the giant kid walking down the hallway in old man Velcro shoes.”
The previous month, Rebecca opened up about her struggles on Facebook, and after watching his post, a local Michigan reporter published her son’s story, that went immensely viral and received the attention of many famous and big brands like Nike, Puma, Under Armour, and Reebok.
“We are in rarefied space, there are not that many people in the world in these sizes,’ the company’s Senior Director of Footwear Development Robb Cropp said. ‘We had to help. We know the importance of sports to kids and their development,” Under Armour wrote in their statement.
Puma is trying to do something simil
ar for him also, while Reebok has sent him five different pairs of Shaq’s custom size 22 shoes a few days before so that he could find some relief.
“Since receiving, Eric’s been thrilled to be able to wear these shoes and even shared with us for the first time in years he couldn’t believe he even had options on different color ways and styles he could wear,” the brand, Reebok revealed in a statement.
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