Do you know a child who deserves to be recognized for his/her commitment to living a healthy, active lifestyle?

Every month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan selects one inspirational child under the age of 18 to be the #MIKidsCan Champion of the Month. The winner’s story is showcased on Blue Cross’ health and wellness blog.

Nominations can be made here:

Some of our past champions have been finalists in healthy cooking contests, started their own neighborhood bike club and even defied the odds of not being able to play sports due to a health condition. Check out some of their stories below:

Nolan Krause

nolan2 600x300 Recognizing Healthy Michigan Kids: #MIKidsCan Champion of the Month

(Photo: BCBSM)

Nolan Krause, 12, has endured two open heart surgeries after being diagnosed with congenital heart disease.  While he’s enjoyed gymnastics and gym class, he eagerly awaited his pediatric cardiologist’s consent to play the one sport he feels most passionately about: football.  As of last year, he became defensive cornerback on a club team that comprises minimal tackle.

Arianna Maldonado

arianna maldonado Recognizing Healthy Michigan Kids: #MIKidsCan Champion of the Month

(Photo: BCBSM)

Arianna Maldonado, 7, competed in her tribe’s annual Pow Wow and performed in front of a crowd of nearly 100 people.  Although dancing is something Arianna has been doing since she was three, she certainly doesn’t limit herself to one sport.  “Being the smallest kid never stops her,” said Arianna’s mom. “She doesn’t get intimidated by people who are bigger than her.”

Xavier Bean

xavier Recognizing Healthy Michigan Kids: #MIKidsCan Champion of the Month

(Photo: BCBSM)

Xavier Bean, 8, didn’t want to sit in the house and play video games all summer.  Instead, he and his mom came up with the idea to do daily family bike rides.  He loved it so much, he made fliers to get people in his neighborhood to join.  After talking to his neighbors, he realized many kids in the area didn’t have bikes and decided to fix two of his old bikes to give to other kids.

Isabelle Sarkody

isabelle sarkody 600x300 Recognizing Healthy Michigan Kids: #MIKidsCan Champion of the Month

(Photo: BCBSM)

Isabelle Sarkody, 9, has been her parents’ sous-chef since she was three years old.  She jumped at the opportunity to join a healthy breakfast cooking competition at her school and ranked in the top five nationwide finalists out of nearly 2,500 entries representing 1,300 elementary schools in 28 states.




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