PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Exactly one year to the day, Providence’s Michael Valentin will return to the ring for the first time since his last fight.
On February 23, Valentin will fight at Twin River Casino, but he’s also focused on raising awareness of an issue close to his heart.
Due to a rare condition called Hirschsprung’s Disease, Valentin has worn a colostomy bag most of his life. Recently, he was informed of a Kentucky boy named Seven Bridges, who took his own life. Bridges was bullied at school because he, too, wore a colostomy bag.
“I also went through that in my middle school and elementary days,” Valentin said. “That’s what I’m fighting for, kids like that. I’m trying to be their role model so they have something to look up to.”
Valentin says he wants kids who are bullied to embrace their adversity the way he has.
“The bag makes me. It makes me work harder in life to be somebody,” he added. “There’s so much that I went through with it. I turned it all into positivity – It was all part of God’s plan.”