A gentle giant in need of a new pair of shoes learned he could rely on the kindness of strangers after creating a website to help pay the $15,000 tab for custom-made footwear.
Igor Vovkovinsky, who is 7 feet, 8 inches tall, says on his website he reached out to Reebok, which told him it would cost about $15,000 to make special shoes.
So he started a website asking the public for help because he couldn’t afford custom-made shoes. He ended up raising more than $26,000.
Vovkovinsky, 29, who lives in Rochester, Minn., has had 16 surgeries on his feet in the past 5 years – so each foot is shaped differently, and he does not know his exact size.
“I have one pair of clogs; they have no shape that holds my foot,” said the struggling college student on his website.
Without the proper shoe support, Vovkovinsky said his body aches terribly, and he’s been on bed rest for three years.
However, a spokesperson for Reebok said the company is looking forward to helping Vovkovinsky - and Reebok will cover the cost.
"At Reebok, it is our goal to make fitness accessible to everyone," said Daniel Sarro of Reebok. "When Igor came to us for help, and we heard his story, we wanted to help. We're working out the details and look forward to helping him."
According to WCCO-TV, Vovkovinsky’s height is a result of a tumor on his pituitary gland.
Vovkovinsky told WCCO when he bought shoes from a German cobbler three years ago, he was a size 26 – but that has changed as a result of all his surgeries.