NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT)- At first glance, Fedya Krassikov looks and acts like a normal kid. After all, he likes playing outside, eating Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and dancing. But Krassikov, 11, has been through extraordinary circumstances throughout his young life.
Born across the globe in Kazakhstan, Krassikov has lived in an orphanage for most of his life- dealing with severe eyesight issues. Three years ago, Krassikov stayed with Linda and Larry Wicker in Newburgh while receiving life-changing treatment that finally gave Krassikov enough eyesight to write his own name and draw like other kids.
Linda Wicker says the treatment opened doors for Krassikov that wouldn’t have been available otherwise, due to his condition. Krassikov is back in the United States, his eyes regressing past where they need to be. Once again, the Wickers are hosting Krassikov as he awaits more treatment, including a possible corneal implant.
But finding a doctor to help him was difficult, Wicker remembering months of “knocking on doors,” looking for a miracle. Wicker says it was her mother’s dying wish to see her unofficial grandson get the treatment he needed.
Now, Krassikov and the Wickers are planning his medical treatments later this month- a day after he turns 12. Still, the treatments are expensive so the Wickers found a foundation to help set up a unique fundraiser- taking old shoes and then either turning them into insulation or giving them to small business owners in developing countries and regions across the world.
The Wickers will be outside the Newburgh Walmart location Saturday from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, collecting shoes and raising money to give Fedya a glimpse at a brighter future. Wicker says she knows Krassikov is just one of many children with similar situations, but she says she hopes Krassikov can take this gift and pay it forward- perhaps one day following through on a dream to become a doctor.