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Entire school helps overweight freshman

High School Rallies To Help 510 Pound Teen

One school in Indiana has rallied around a 510-pound teen in an effort to get him in healthy shape.

According to the Indy Star, early on in his freshman year, 14-year-old Eric Ekis broke a desk in his English class. While the thought of that happening to you might make you want to run and hide, it's impossible for Eric, who is 6-foot-4, to go unnoticed. Instead, it was a catalyst for a change.

His teacher Don Wettrick knew that Eric needed help, and when he reached out and learned that Eric's weight had ballooned after the death of his father, it broke his heart. Wettrick continually asked Eric if he'd work out before school. His persistence eventually paid off when Eric agreed. The English teacher enlisted the help of Kevin Stahl, a senior and a member of the high school swim team, to walk with Eric during first period.

In the months since, the number of people walking beside Eric has grown to more than a dozen students. As well as walking, the group has added yoga, basketball, and other physical activities to their routine.

Since starting in late September, Eric has lost ten pounds and gained a sense of self worth that everyone around him has noticed. He's also gained friends.

Eric is realistic and understands that he will have to walk a lot of miles before he can get back to a healthy weight, but in the meantime he hopes that he can inspire others.

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gailneuman February 25 2014 at 3:44 AM

I feel very sad for this teen and hope he'll be ok. Unfortunately, his mother enabled him by buying so much food that ht ballooned to that weight, which could have killed him. Very hard work on his part now to shed the pounds.

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pearlnestor1 February 25 2014 at 3:08 AM

Best thing I read/heard all day. I now have hope again in the human race. I know with all the support that Eric has that he will distinguish himself. He's on the path, he's going to go all the way, I know he will.

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vldavister February 25 2014 at 12:31 AM

God bless the teacher and students that are helping Eric. Maybe they could get a trainer to work with him as well. Would like to see the 'rest of the story' down the road as to his successes. Go Eric!

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Bob February 25 2014 at 12:15 AM

Hey Eric, I know how you feel. I'm 63, weigh 310, and am walking everyday to lose the weight I gained since turning 35. In High School, I weighed 145 lbs., I was a runner on the track team, I got 3 "Letters," and I thought that I was going to live to be 1000!
My dad died in 1990, I was devastated to have lost the best friend that I'd ever had. I gained weight, until I was more than a quarter ton! My friends were the catalyst in my losing 200+ pounds, just keep walkin'.

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gailneuman February 25 2014 at 3:45 AM

Bob, very impressive about how you turned your life around and lost so much weight!

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rob4ever22 February 25 2014 at 12:04 AM

Eric keep it up and may God bless you....beatiful story..... :)

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Bob February 25 2014 at 12:17 AM

Yeah, and it's a beautiful story too...

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mmmmmmmmmm February 24 2014 at 7:13 PM


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piknplundr February 24 2014 at 5:09 PM

Beautiful story. This is a start for so many good things in this young man's life.

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selfenchanted February 24 2014 at 4:49 PM

Hope the positive atmosphere keeps going for this young man.

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MR. CARTER February 24 2014 at 4:24 PM

God bless Eric and all the kids helping him in that school. Now lets get the department of social services to make a visit to Eric's home. Someone is feeding this poor kid huge amounts of food.
It can only get better Eric, be strong and God bless.

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fifiwereking February 24 2014 at 4:06 PM

clearly eric isn't the only kid in that school who is morbidly obese; it's great to see some joining eric in his activities.... don wettrick is the hero here... he took a chance reaching out to eric on a personal level; in today's climate he could have been the victim of a lawsuit, fired, suspended, etc. if the student took offense... some children could greatly benefit from a little personal attention, but then you read the stories of teachers being suspended for things like putting an arm around a crying child... it's madness...

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Bob February 25 2014 at 12:19 AM

I certainly agree...

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