NewsPasco County


Superheroes team up to bring holiday cheer to Wesley Chapel teen fighting for his life

Eric Piburn was born with congenital heart defects
Posted at 5:27 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 14:06:26-05

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — This is an exciting month for Eric Piburn.

Doctors once told his parents he wouldn't live to see his first birthday.

Now he's about to turn 14. And per usual, everyone is invited to his upcoming b-day bash, this one a car parade at Wiregrass Mall.

Eric was born with congenital heart defects. "He's spent half his life in the hospital," says mom Randi.

Every single day is truly a gift for him and his family.

"Even on his worst day, he still finds a way to bring joy and kindness to other people," adds his mother.

So as if this month couldn't get cooler, the community just brought some holiday joy and kindness to him.

Eric loves Christmas lights, and yet his family has often been too busy with medical issues to decorate their Wesley Chapel home.

So last week a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man dropped by with some decorations. Hawkeye was there, too. Heck, even a Ghostbuster was on the scene. They spent hours lighting up the house.

"This is incredible!" says Eric, watching the superheroes work. "I mean, look at this! You guys have done a wonderful job!"

The superheroes were genuinely inspired by Eric's joy and attitude.

"Eric is the kind of person who keeps us going when we feel bad," says Hawkeye aka Ben Jayko, who's with community outreach group Costumers With a Cause. These are cosplayers doing good deeds in the community.

Julie Weintraub's Hands Across the Bay has also been heavily involved in Eric's life. She currently matching donations on Eric's GoFundMe page to help pay for medical bills.