Kelly Urich


High School Teacher Helps To Change The Life Of One Overweight Student

14-year-old Eric Ekis went into his freshmen year at Franklin Community High School, weighing 510 pounds, leaving him vulnerable to be picked on. 

In addition to dealing with his weight and being bullied, he was also dealing with issues at home. A couple years ago, Eric's father died from a brain aneurysm and Eric fell in the shower, shattering his leg. Upon breaking his leg, Eric had a lot of surgeries, leaving him 

He eventually underwent a slew of surgeries, which left him immobilized, all while mourning his father's death 

Then Eric's English teacher, Don Wettrick, decided to step in and make a difference. With the help of his teacher, Eric and Kevin Stahl, a senior on the school's swim team, began to take walks together -- they are now best friends. Additionally, Eric has met with a dietitian to implement better eating habits. 

"I'm proud of him," Kevin said. "This is how peers can help out and influence each other in a positive way.”

It is the hope of Eric that his struggle will help inspire others going through a tough time. "From the beginning, I wanted this to help other kids just like me -- overweight kids that need the help and the support." 

Thanks to those who believed in Eric, he has built a new sense of confidence. "I feel a whole lot better about myself," he said. "I'm not the kid that hides anymore." 

- Kelly Urich 

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Topics : EducationHospitality_Recreation
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People : Don WettrickEric EkisKelly UrichKevin Stahl

02/24/2014 8:11AM
High School Teacher Helps To Change The Life Of One Overweight Student
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