Family battling through child's illness gets hit by vandals - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Family battling through child's illness gets hit by vandals

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

A Fort Wayne couple struggling with a sick child has been hit with another ordeal--the destruction of their only means to get around.

We introduce you to a four-year old boy fighting a painful disease, and to his parents, who have new reason to question, "What could go wrong next."

Whether it's rolling down a ramp on his scooter, or chasing his brother down the sidewalk, Ziek Washington has energy like a lot of 4-year olds.

He loves sword fighting and Power Rangers, because...

"They're red and pink and blue," he says matter of factly.

But Ziek's young life has also been filled with a lot of pain and suffering.

He has a rare disease that forced doctors to remove his kidneys, causing him to endure dialysis 13 hours every single day.

The family is grateful for treatment at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indy.

"It has given him a quality of life that we thought we might not see again. When you watch your child suffer for so long, at some point you wonder if it's going to end well," said Aleighsha Busche, the boy’s mother.

Ziek needs a kidney transplant, and in fact, his father, Busche's fiancé, is preparing to be the donor.

"I'm not going to say it's not a scary process, to get cut open and have something taken out of me, but it's for my son. To be able to give him my kidney and to be able to do something, it means a lot," said Thomas Washington.

Of course, the family has been going through a lot for a long time.

Then Wednesday morning they came outside to find a new headache.

In the middle of the night, vandals targeted the family van, slashing all four tires and smashing out the windows.

"On our one piece of transportation to get our son back and forth to his appointments, to the hospital," Washington said, fighting back tears.

"It was devastating, and we were mad, we were very angry at first, but for us to stay angry and let that ruin our day, that affects all of our children and Ziek and that means they won, but they didn't, we had an amazing day," Busche said.

The bill to repair the damage figures to close to $1,000, money they really don't have.

They carry on with a strange sense of optimism.

"With everything we've been through, you know we learned a life lesson that some people don't get to learn until they've experienced that kind of loss," Busche said.

A group of vandals dealt them a blow, but didn't break their spirit, reinforcing the notion that adversity only makes us stronger.

Click on this link if you’d like to donate to the family

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