Detroit Free Press columnist, radio host, author and philanthropist Mitch Albom has operated an orphanage in Haiti for several years, following the devastating earthquake that essentially leveled the island nation.
The work at the orphanage was introduced Mitch to Chika, a little girl who was born just three days before the earthquake, and who was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness at age 5.
Chika came to live with Albom and his wife, Janine, while Chika was receiving medical treatment in the United States. She died in 2017, but her life changed everything for Albom’s family, and for their lives.
“I don’t say we lost a child, I say we were given a child.” - Mitch Albom, author
Chika’s memory lives on and is beautifully commemorated in Mitch’s newest book, which is out tomorrow, “Finding Chika: A Little Girl, An Earthquake and The Making of a Family.”
“Chika was just unique,” says Albom. “She was like the bossiest, funniest little kid. We called her Bossy Chika.”
“They told us Chika would be dead in four months and that we should just take her back to Haiti to live out the rest of her days,” he continues. “I told him, I don’t think you know how tough this kid is.”
“She lived for two years,” Albom says. ”And in that time, she made us a family.”
“I don’t say we lost a child, I say we were given a child.”