My Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Fundraising Page!
Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio
Age on Race Day: 8
Diagnosis: Anorectal Malformation
Achiga first came to the United States in 2013, from Haiti, for a repair of an anal/rectal defect. His host family, the Mierzwiaks, became his forever family when they adopted him in July, 2015, when he was four years old.
Over the course of the past few years, his family noticed that his stool output was not normal. Through their own research, Achiga’s family learned about Nationwide Children’s Hospital Bowel Boot Camp, a seven-day outpatient program for children dealing with the inability to control when stool needs stay inside or leave the body. While undergoing this testing, it was found that Achiga had a bowel obstruction. This finding placed Achiga inpatient at Nationwide Children’s, where he underwent surgery, as well as an unexpected colostomy. This finding placed Achiga inpatient where he underwent surgery and an unexpected colostomy.
While Achiga’s family was a bit nervous about the procedure, Achiga, however, accepted the surgery with a “let’s do this” attitude. He reassured them that having a colostomy was like “having a sock on your stomach.” During recovery post-surgery, Achiga never once complained and maintained an attitude of positivity, and resilience.
While he has more surgeries in his future, Achiga does not let anything keep him from living his life to the fullest. He is an active, energetic kid who loves all sports and participates on various teams throughout the year in soccer, baseball, basketball and cross-country. He is looking forward to starting up flag football next year, too.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been a gift to Achiga and our family. From our very first contact via phone, to the gentleman that pushed for a ticket at the parking garage, the information/admission personnel, cafeteria workers, housekeeping, nurses, child life team, nursing assistants, and the doctors – every single encounter was met with a smile, a look-you-in-your-eye acknowledgment, gentle reassurance and helpful tips to navigate the halls. Nationwide Children’s is a big place with an even bigger heart for their patients and families. We always felt like we mattered at each and every turn during Achiga’s care,” says Kathleen, Achiga’s mother.
The Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction (CCPR) at Nationwide Children’s is leading the way in providing high quality care for children diagnosed with colorectal conditions. Every child diagnosed with a colorectal or pelvic condition is handled with an individualized treatment plan. Because of the complexity of many conditions, some children require care throughout their life.
Achiga has a huge heart for his homeland, Haiti. Last Christmas he participated with his school to help his birth family and others in their community. He also has a passion for music and always has a song in his soul. He loves to dance, sing and play guitar. On race day, Achiga will be cheering on participants of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon with a bright smile on his face and sharing his zest for life with all who come through his mile.
Help kids like Achiga by making a donation today!
If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.