Alex -- originally named Sergey -- was abandoned by his parents shortly after he was born at the hospital in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. He weighed less than 2 pounds and doctors said he had a mild case of cerebral palsy.
His condition improved slightly over the next 11 months, when Dwight and Jenny Griffith adopted him.
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.
Alex devoted 2 ½ years to his Krasnoyarsk Playground Project. In addition to recruiting more than 500 volunteers in five countries, he raised more than $60,000 by soliciting help from local Rotary Clubs and joining forces with other Boy Scouts for candy sales, car washes and barbeque fundraisers. Alex oversaw every aspect of production, from designing and purchasing the playground to shipping equipment overseas.
The playground is painted red, white and blue and the entrance has two totem poles: a bear for Russia and an eagle for America.
Alex will find out in the next couple of months whether he has earned the status of Eagle Scout. In my opinion, however, he is already a hero.
Him and kids like him in the BSA . . . nashi, nashi.