WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Birthdays are an annual thing. Parties aren’t always. Last year, Eric Piburn spent his 11th birthday in the hospital.
To make up for lost time, the Piburn family, along with Old McMicky’s Farm in Odessa, are throwing an enormous birthday bash. On February 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the farm will transform into Birthday Central for a kid who was never supposed to make it 12 years.
“We were told he wouldn’t make it through his first year,” said his mother, Randi. “We almost lost him three or four times that first year. I didn’t think we were going to have 12 so to have one was absolutely amazing.”
Eric is terminally ill. He has needed a life-saving heart and double lung transplant since birth. He’s defied all odds by making it this far. That’s why he’s celebrating with another birthday bash to remember.
“I really want you to come to my birthday party,” he said. “I really want my birthday party. It’s going to be awesome!”
We first met Eric three years ago when 10News helped orchestrate a dream-come-true moment for the then-nine-year-old Eric. He was able to “meet” Pat Sajak and Vanna White, the hosts of the popular TV show Wheel of Fortune, via satellite from our studio.
It was a jolt of joy to a heart that has seen plenty of scares over the years.
“He’s one of the strongest of us all,” said a man in a Spiderman costume from Eric’s living room Friday morning. “He’s a really good kid.”
Spiderman and a few of his fantasy friends spent the morning at Eric’s home today. They will all be in attendance for the big birthday party. Princesses, like famous Disney sisters Elsa and Anna, Star Wars characters, pirates, and superheroes will also celebrate with Eric on Feb. 3. There will be food, live music and games for kids of all ages at Old McMicky’s. It’s a party fit for an energetic fighter like Eric.
“There will be chocolate cake, I think,” he said.
Old McMicky’s Farm (9612 Crescent Dr, Odessa, FL 33556) and Eric’s family are selling $10 tickets to the party. The money will be donated to Eric’s family to help pay for mounting medical bills. Tickets are available online. The 2016 party for Eric hosted 800 guests.
“Eric is a warrior,” said a woman in a Elsa costume. “There is a special place in my heart for that.”
Eric has started a Kindness Warrior campaign as well. He hopes to inspire people by his random acts of kindness. The Piburns hope the party is highly attended and a success. It will show Eric he’s truly loved by the community that supports him so richly.
Get your tickets to the party here. Donations are also accepted.
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