'Peach's Neet Feet' touches hearts and soles in the Inland North - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Peach's Neet Feet' touches hearts and soles in the Inland Northwest

Posted: Updated:
Riley and his family Riley and his family
Marleigh Erdahl Marleigh Erdahl

Story edited by Josh Godfrey

 What's on the sole of a shoe says a lot about what's in the soul of its owner. 

"These kids are traveling down such a difficult journey," Becca Erdahl explained. "People give kids things all the time, but there's just something special about getting a pair of these custom shoes." 

At Peach's Neet Feet, a non-profit group based in New Mexico, they believe the value of kindness is nothing unless it is shared with others. 

For 2 local families right here in the Inland Northwest, this kindness came in the form of a pair of beautifully designed, custom-made Converse sneakers. 

"We work with kids with cancer and other life threatening illnesses and disabilities and use art to celebrate them beyond all the things they're going through," Madison "Peaches" Steiner, the founder of Peach's Neet Feet, explained. 

"These kids are traveling down such a difficult journey," said Erdahl, whose daughter Marleigh had a pink pair of Peach's Neet Feet shoes.  "People give kids things all the time, but there's just something special about getting these custom shoes that they know are made just for them."

Erdahl's daughter Marleigh battled AML leukimia. 

"[She was] just the sweetest funniest little girl that you could picture," Erdahl said.  "Happy, fun, and loved to be outside... we went to the park a lot.. and she most often wore her shoes." 

Becca and Marleigh Erdahl met Riley and his mom, Katie, at the hospital. 

"Riley has aplastic anemia," Katie explained.  "It's a bone marrow failure syndrome... dyskeratosis is 1 in a million, and aplastic is 1 in a million and we have both... we do rare really well in our family." 

Riley and Marleigh had what their mom's called, "a special connection." 

"Our kids were... diagnosed with different illnesses but for some reason they sort of caught each other's eyes," Becca Erdahl said. 

Their bond was tied tighter when they each got to design a pair of custom sneakers from Peach's Neet Feet. 

Riley's shoes have mountains to represent the backpacking trips he took with his dad, lots of orange and blue for the Denver Broncos, the aplastic anemia ribbon, and the wings of Hermes because he loves Greek mythology. 

"My whole thing was, ok, let's talk about the future," Katie said. "What college do you want to go to, what do you want for your future? I really wanted him to have something positive to focus on and the wings of Hermes could take him places." 

Marleigh's shoes were pretty in pink, with the Little Mermaid painted on the side. 

"Marleigh was in ICU and she was really sick at the time," Becca Erdahl said. "It was a really nice pick me up to get out of ICU and have these really nice fancy new shoes to put on." 

Each pair of sneakers had the same price tag. 

"Peach's asked us to pay it forward," remembers Katie.  "That was the one payment they asked for with the shoes...to pay it forward with kindness." 

So, in the spirit of kindness, Riley and Katie made blankets for other children they met at the hospital. Riley personally picked the fabric for Marleigh's blanket. 

"She always called it her Riley blanket," said Becca.  "It was black and pink with pink hearts and sort of leopard print material, but he had found fabric and specifically made that for Marleigh." 

After battling leukimia for more than a year, Marleigh passed away. Her shoes are still on display in Becca's home, painting the perfect picture of her personality. 

"They're really special to me," said Becca. "It was a special part of our journey, and it was a really, really sweet reminder of my girl." 

Riley is still fighting his battle, and even though he outgrew his shoes, they still help him and his family walk down this difficult path. 

"I plan on keeping them because they're still a reminder of the first thing that happened to us that was good," Riley said. 

Katie wears them sometimes too. "There's a little bit of him walking around on his feet, representing what his heart is," she said. 

"I love looking at those shoes," said Becca, "and even though Marleigh's gone now, I still have this constant reminder of great kindness and great love even though we have experienced a great loss." 

Becca recently gave birth to a baby boy, Gil. She told KHQ Marleigh had always wanted a baby brother, and she is confident that Gil will grow up knowing how beautiful and special his big sister was. 

Riley just had his 8th bone marrow biopsy. We here at KHQ wanted him to know we are thinking of him, and rooting for him in his fight against aplastic anemia.  

The people at Peach's Neet Feet believe the value of kindness means nothing unless you help spread it to others, so if you'd like to help them spread kindness, you can check out their website here: https://peachsneetfeet.com/

You can also connect with them on Facebook by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/PeachsNeetFeet
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Wednesday, December 21 2016 2:36 PM EST2016-12-21 19:36:25 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>
  • Spokane Police investigating death of man shot during sex

    Spokane Police investigating death of man shot during sex

    Wednesday, November 14 2018 8:45 PM EST2018-11-15 01:45:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police are investigating the death of a man who reportedly shot himself in the head during sex. In a search warrant filed Nov. 8 in Spokane Superior Court, a detective wrote that around 2 a.m. on Nov. 4, police were called to a home in the 7800 block of North Morton Ave. after a woman said her partner shot himself in the head. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police are investigating the death of a man who reportedly shot himself in the head during sex. In a search warrant filed Nov. 8 in Spokane Superior Court, a detective wrote that around 2 a.m. on Nov. 4, police were called to a home in the 7800 block of North Morton Ave. after a woman said her partner shot himself in the head. 

    >>
  • Couple, homeless man charged in charitable scam

    Couple, homeless man charged in charitable scam

    Thursday, November 15 2018 2:39 PM EST2018-11-15 19:39:47 GMT

    MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. - Authorities say a New Jersey couple and a homeless man made up a "feel good" story about the man helping them so they could raise money through an online fundraiser. Burlington County prosecutors outlined the allegations against Mark D'Amico, Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt on Thursday.

    >>

    MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. - Authorities say a New Jersey couple and a homeless man made up a "feel good" story about the man helping them so they could raise money through an online fundraiser. Burlington County prosecutors outlined the allegations against Mark D'Amico, Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt on Thursday.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • NRA suing to block Initiative 1639

    NRA suing to block Initiative 1639

    Friday, November 16 2018 2:26 AM EST2018-11-16 07:26:01 GMT

    The National Rifle Association is suing to block a new, voter-approved gun control measure in Washington state. Initiative 1639 passed with 60 percent of the vote last week. 

    >>

    The National Rifle Association is suing to block a new, voter-approved gun control measure in Washington state. Initiative 1639 passed with 60 percent of the vote last week. 

    >>
  • Controversial Mike Leach tweet cost WSU $1.6 million in pledged donations

    Controversial Mike Leach tweet cost WSU $1.6 million in pledged donations

    Friday, November 16 2018 1:24 AM EST2018-11-16 06:24:14 GMT
    WSU to review student conduct processWSU to review student conduct process

    A controversial tweet by WSU head football coach Mike Leach cost the University $1.6 million in pledged donations. The tweet, which was sent in June, depicted a doctored video of a speech by former President Barack Obama. 

    >>

    A controversial tweet by WSU head football coach Mike Leach cost the University $1.6 million in pledged donations. The tweet, which was sent in June, depicted a doctored video of a speech by former President Barack Obama. 

    >>
  • Officials: mountain lion kitten seized from Colorado home was sick after being fed bratwurst

    Officials: mountain lion kitten seized from Colorado home was sick after being fed bratwurst

    Friday, November 16 2018 12:51 AM EST2018-11-16 05:51:15 GMT

    Wildlife officials who seized a mountain lion kitten from a southern Colorado home say the feline fell ill after the residents fed it bratwurst. Travis Sauder with Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the kitten appeared to be in good health otherwise and was sent to a wildlife rehabilitation center Tuesday.

    >>

    Wildlife officials who seized a mountain lion kitten from a southern Colorado home say the feline fell ill after the residents fed it bratwurst. Travis Sauder with Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the kitten appeared to be in good health otherwise and was sent to a wildlife rehabilitation center Tuesday.

    >>