NewsPinellas County


Wesley Chapel boy born with congenital heart defects made honorary Police Cadet

Eric Piburn was named an "honorary classmate"
Posted at 10:07 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 03:30:42-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A 12-year-old Wesley Chapel boy graduated with St. Petersburg College's Police Academy as an honorary member.

The graduation ceremony was held at SPC Allstate Center on Tuesday night.

"He is one of those kids that gives off positive energy and he's a fighter and we really respect that," said Cameron Churchill, a Police Cadet.

Eric Piburn was born with congenital heart defects. He has been in and out of a hospital since birth.

His mother said doctors did not expect him to live past his first birthday.

"We're just trying to live the best life that he can, day in and day out, because we don't know what tomorrow has in store for us," said Randi Piburn, Eric's mother.

Eric first met nearly 30 cadets at his birthday party in February at Old McMicky's Farm. Eric invited all of Tampa Bay to celebrate with him.

The class started with 29 people in January. On Tuesday, all 29 men and women graduated from the academy.

"They're going to do an amazing job, so cool. They're going to do an incredible job," said Eric.

Eric participated in the ceremony and was recognized as an honorary member for his generous heart and personal mission to spread kindness.

The class said he exemplifies the strength and courage law enforcement should have.

To learn more about Eric, you can click on his Facebook page.