ISB » News Archives » ISB Great People InService - Alex Griffith
CNN Hero 2009 [Nominee]
A Boy Hero
Born in a small town in Krasnoyarsk, Alex Griffith pays homage to the hospital that saved his life. Now residing as an American teenager, Alex was born ‘Sergey’ and was abandoned by his parents shortly after he was born at the hospital. Weighing less than 2 pounds and with a mild case of cerebral palsy, his fate was unclear until the Griffiths.
Alex donated hundreds of hours and raised tens of thousands of dollars to build a new playground for the hospital. Alex grew healthier throughout his childhood and became active in the Boy Scouts. In 2007, he set out to build a new playground at Hospital 20 as his service project to become an Eagle Scout, the highest earned rank of the Boy Scouts of America.
Devoting 2 ½ years to his Krasnoyarsk Playground Project and gathering 500 volunteers in five countries, he raised more than US$60,000 by soliciting help from local Rotary Clubs and the help of other Boy Scouts who sold candies and washed cars.
Overseeing the design and purchasing the playground and until it was shipped overseas, the project was a hit. Today, young patients and their families now enjoy swings, a rock wall, a climbing bridge and a 5-foot tall zip slides. The playground is painted red, white and blue and the entrance has two totem poles: a bear for Russia and an eagle for America.
When asked about how he feels he coyly gasped ‘wow, that’s a lot of difference’.