Homeless dad’s viral TikTok videos lead to public support for his family
One gut-wrenching TikTok video garnered more than 465,000 views
A Georgia man is finally getting much-needed relief for his family after opening up about their financial struggles on his TikTok feed and gaining public attention.
Michael Walker found it incredibly hard to provide for his family due to his battle with kidney disease. As a result, he, along with his wife Willa Strong, and their three autistic daughters — Rukiya, 16, Niara, 14, and Adia, 12, have had to live out of hotel rooms.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, Walker had to leave his job at Walmart because his condition put him at high risk of serious illness or death if infected.
After struggling to obtain permanent housing due to a low credit score, last month, the father and husband took to social media to share an emotional TikTok video that has since gone viral.
“I don’t really talk about my situation much because I’m pretty much embarrassed,” he said of his family’s problems.
He then broke down as he confessed, “I feel like a failure because I let my family down. Since being on dialysis for the last couple of years, it’s been a rough road for me and mine’s.”
Walker went on to praise his devoted wife who has stood by him through all of the family’s issues and quit her job so she could homeschool the girls.
“My wife and I have three kids who are autistic and non-verbal,” he said in his video. “And we live with that every day, and my wife don’t complain, and she don’t make me feel bad about where we at in life.”
As of Monday afternoon the gut-wrenching video garnered more than 465,000 views.
The family GoFundMe page has now raised over $100,000 with almost than 3,000 donations. The goal for the family is $250,000.
“Every time a challenge comes up, we say, ‘Well, what’s the best thing to do?’ And we move forward from there,” Strong explained during an exclusive interview with Fox News.
She also explained why remote learning wasn’t a viable option for her daughters during the pandemic. She noted that even now returning to school is still a tricky thing because the mask requirement that most schools have would create sensory issues for her autistic daughters. So homeschooling has now become a necessity until something changes.
“For them, they can’t keep the mask around their ears, and covering their nose and mouth,” Strong said, adding that if her children get sick, the risk of them transmitting the disease to her immunocompromised husband is one they can’t take.
The concerned mother also told the publication that the love and support that has come from her husband’s video has been “overwhelming” and finally given them hope.
“We just didn’t see a way out,” she conceded.
In the clip that’s touched so many people’s hearts, Walker said he wanted “so much more” for his family than just basic survival.
“They deserve a house, they deserve to not worry about where we going to be staying month after month and week after week,” he said. “We have plans and something always seems to come up. Something always happens and we always set back.”
After his initial video, Walker posted a follow-up clip expressing his gratitude. “I can say that I felt all the prayers, all the well wishes, all the positive energy that was given to me … Man, I felt that.”
Strong echoed those sentiments during her interview, stating, “My husband was constantly getting messages, and they were just praising us and thanking us for staying strong — and letting my husband know he’s not a failure … he is doing the best he can do.”
“We are doing the best that we can do,” she concluded. “That just felt good that people acknowledged that.”
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