Wasilla Teen on a Mission to Share Compassion
Despite disability, Sam Allred is sharing his story and his kindness
WASILLA - A Wasilla boy with a chronic illness is on a mission to spread kindness across the country and he isn’t shy about sharing his story. Sam Allred has actually written a book about what it’s like to be a child with a rare kidney disease.
At 13 years old Sam is not quite four feet tall. The medicine he takes to fight his disease has stunted his growth and plumped his features. Sam looks different, a fact that was hammered home to him at an early age.
When Sam was eight years old his sister posted a video of him on YouTube singing “The Cuppycake Song.”
The video went viral and people posted comments from around the world. Most found Sam’s chubby cheeks adorable but some people made nasty comments about his looks, not knowing he was sick.
“So people just think, ‘oh he’s fat,’” says Sam. “And that his parents don’t care about him, but it’s not our fault.”
But instead of lingering on feelings of hurt, Sam turned his situation around. Not long after the video he announced to his mother that perhaps he may have gotten his illness so he could help other people.
Sam’s mother says she wasn’t surprised. Compassion is a family value. She didn’t think it strange when Sam, the 8th of her 11 children, wanted to write a book and start a website that encouraged kindness to others without judgment. But his latest project is a bigger one.
For the last three years he’s been helping collect homemade pillows for children in local hospitals. This year he wants to spread the love even further. There are hundreds of pillows in the family home that are bound for children’s hospitals in the Lower 48. Sam’s dad is a FedEx contractor and the company is helping to deliver the pillows to hospitals across the country.
As for Sam his vision may be grand but his message is simple: Kindness and compassion can be a life changer, even when times are tough.