By Ashley Rader
An Elizabethton mother’s Facebook Christmas request for her son has led to a nationwide response … and an outpouring of support that surprised everyone involved.
On Dec. 4, Eydie Withrow posted a Facebook status asking for vanilla Pediasure for her 17-year-old son Grahm.
“All I want for Christmas is for everyone I know to send one can of vanilla Pediasure for my son Grahm,” she wrote. “They have dropped him from his insurance, and this is his source of nutrition … He is 5 foot 7, and weighs 97 pounds. If it is in your heart, please help him.”
Withrow’s high school friend Lori Latteri, who lives in Nutley, N.J., saw the post, started a Facebook event called “Pediasure for Grahm” and shared it on the social network.
The event asked attendees to send a CVS gift card or a case of vanilla Pediasure to Withrow for Grahm, and has 243 people listed as “going.” People have responded from all across the country from Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New York and Missouri as well as Tennessee and New Jersey.
Latteri, who is widowed and has an autistic son, said she understood what it was like to need something for a child and have to worry about how it would be provided.
“When I saw it on Facebook, I cringed because there was a child who needed something,” Latteri said. “I went to high school with Eydie. We have always been good friends. I knew I could send a six-pack but she needed more. I couldn’t send more, but I could invite other people to help. I never thought it would be what it has become.”
Withrow said she did not know Latteri was going to make an event until after she had done it.
“I feel blessed that people I know and haven’t seen in years have come up and said, ‘I got this’,” she said. “I am amazed by the support that has been shown through this.”