Finding Chika by Mitch Albom
This true story is a moving account of a little girl’s devastating illness, the couple who fought so hard to save her and how, in doing so, they created a family.
Mitch Albom (author of the global best-seller Tuesdays with Morrie) and his wife Janine have no children of their own, but they operate an orphanage in Haiti and it was there that they met Chika.
The little girl was born three days before the catastrophic 2010 earthquake that destroyed so much of her homeland. Chika and her mother survived the quake but her mother died in childbirth two years later and less than a year after that, Chika was delivered to the orphanage. Despite being the youngest child there, Chika’s strong personality made her stand out among the other children at the home and she formed a connection with Mitch Albom from the day she arrived.
At the age of five, Chika became ill and was diagnosed with a grade four brain tumour. The prognosis was grim but Mitch and Janine decided to take her back to their home in America for treatment, to give her the best chance at life. Sadly, at the age of seven, Chika died, but this is not so much a story of sorrow as one of love. The love of family and how one little girl gave so much in her short life.
As the author says, “We did not lose a child. We were given one.” Finding Chika will tug the heartstrings but also lift the spirits, reaffirming that where there is life there is hope, where there is love, there is joy.
Reviewer: Rowena Mara