Chemotherapy didn’t just present physical challenges to Christian, but also cognitive ones. Despite having a harder time learning due to the effects of chemotherapy, Christian, now 9 years old, persevered and exceeded all academic expectations.
Christian felt the need to make a difference for others facing the same battle he had. At age 4, he began doing speaking engagements on behalf of childhood cancer programs. He has spent countless hours making videos and using social media to elevate awareness of childhood cancer. Christian has raised more than $20,000 in the last few years for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and CureSearch, a non-profit whose mission is to end children’s cancer by driving targeted and innovative research.
His faith has sustained him through hard times. “God hears our prayers and helps us as much as he can,” Christian said. “It reminds me that God can do very big things.”
Christian has also devoted more than 100 hours to homeless outreach. He also finds time to play youth soccer and enjoy a little dodgeball while participating in Scouting.
As a military child, Christian has relocated four times already and has endured 16 months of his father’s deployment. Christian sees a bright side to being a member of a military family, adding “Military kids get to travel a lot and live in a lot of places civilian kids may just travel to. We get to make so many friends from different places and experience different cultures.”
Christian aspires to follow in his father’s footsteps and to become a Marine. If medical issues become an impediment, then he wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps and work for the Department of Defense.
Christian is the son of Diana Fagala and Marine Capt. Justin Fagala of Quantico, VA.
This week, we will be shining a spotlight on each of our Military Child of the Year Award recipients, as well as the first ever recipient of the Operation Homefront-Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Award. Be sure to check back daily or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates. In addition, throughout the months of April and May, we invite you to show your appreciation by sending a message of thanks and sharing #Mission2Honor with your friends and family. Follow this link to share your message, or post your own message on social media using #Mission2Honor.
Our heartfelt thanks to our presenting sponsor United Technologies, and all of our 2016 Military Child of the Year Award sponsors, for making this annual award one of the highlights of our year. Your support allows us to bring the stories of our military families to the forefront, making a difference in raising awareness of the challenges they face in protecting our nation.