Give a Child a Voice works to educate children and adults about the importance of a child's voice and encourages children to speak out when faced with difficult circumstances, through community-based programs. We are working toward putting an end to bullying, child abuse, and life-threatening childhood illnesses. We must raise our voices to help the many boys and girls who suffer in silence become the author of their story. Give a child a voice; it will make the world a better place.
When 16-year-old Eric Erdman learned, he had advanced brain cancer in July 2016, he had no idea all the ways his life would change. He faced medical procedures, including both brain surgery and eye surgery, and he lost hearing and sight in one of his eyes. However, the fear and grueling procedures aren’t what Eric remembers most about the months after he was diagnosed with Anaplastic Grade III Ependymoma.
He remembers the voluntary kindness friends, families, neighbors, and even strangers showed him and how it helped him find his voice, to share his story and speak out. The coming together of so many different people, all with the same goal of showing support, transformed his perspective on life and inspired him to pay it forward.
Today, now after four brain surgeries, three rounds of radiation, and one round of chemo, as Eric battles complications, he’s more excited than ever to continue to help other struggling kids find their voice.
While some children battle critical pediatric illness, others face challenges such as bullying and abuse in their schools and homes. In addition to the immediate harm it causes, these difficult experiences can cause long-term emotional suffering. It is Eric’s dream that other kids who experience difficult situations receive the same kindness he received at one of the most vulnerable times of his life. He started the movement, “Give a Child a Voice” to engage the community and get children the help they need so positive change is possible. His dream and movement have become a reality thanks to the work being done through his foundation.