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.