x
Breaking News
More () »

14-year-old 'kindness warrior' Eric Piburn enters hospice care

At Eric's request, doctors are stopping some of his medications and just trying to give him what makes him comfortable.

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa Bay teen who dedicated his life to spreading kindness has entered hospice care, according to his family.

Eric Piburn, 14, was born with congenital heart defects. He had four open-heart surgeries until doctors, unfortunately, ran out of treatment options.

At Eric's request, they're stopping some of his medications and just trying to give him what makes him comfortable.

We've followed his journey over the last five years or so, starting in 2016 when 10 Tampa Bay helped arrange for Eric, a "Wheel of Fortune" megafan, to “meet” the show’s hosts, Pat Sajak and Vanna White, in a satellite interview. 

On his 14th birthday on Dec. 30, the community came out to celebrate Eric with a car parade featuring his favorite movie character, Lightning McQueen. 

Credit: Julie Hirsch Photography

His family has created The Eric Piburn Foundation in his honor, which will raise money to provide toys for kids on their birthdays. 

“It’s basically the way we are going to continue Eric’s legacy after he’s gone,” his mother, Randi, said.

The Piburn family will sell t-shirts to raise money for the foundation. The back will read his motto: “Every kid deserves a toy on their birthday and every toy deserves a kid to play with.”

Back in January, Eric said he wants his legacy to be about giving and making kids smile. 

A fundraiser has been set up to help the family pay for Eric's funeral expenses. More than $13,000 has been raised so far. You can donate here.