Child abuse victim Alahverdian loses his cancer fight

Photo courtesy Nicholas Alahverdian

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

Nick Alahverdian, a foster child who fought against abuses in Rhode Island’s child care system, lost his battle with cancer and died on Saturday. He was 32.

He leaves his wife and two children, and she asked that the location not be disclosed because of threats received over the years.

“No words can express what has happened,” she said, adding he was admitted to a hospital on Friday, the cancer had impacted his kidneys and his lungs, and he died on Saturday.

Alahverdian, a former House page and legislative aide sued the state, claiming that he was assaulted and abused while in DCYF care, and placed out-of-state. The suit was settled in 2013.

Alahverdian revealed in January he had been diagnosed with late-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma and told he likely had just weeks to live. He redoubled his efforts at reforming the state’s child care system and Department for Children, Youth and Families.

“Unfortunately, this has come much too soon in my life,” he told WPRO News at the time. “I’m only 32 years old and I wish I had the ability to live much longer to accomplish the things that I set about to do so many years ago,” he said.

In February, Providence Rep. Raymond Hull filed a resolution on Alahverdian’s behalf, calling for the creation of an emergency, one-year House commission to investigate treatment of children in foster care. The measure is still pending in the House.

“He was always such a person that had energy and life, and belief in his cause, and that was being a warrior for foster children,” his wife said. “Rhode Island and the world have lost someone who really went to work for children.”

She said that in keeping with his wishes, he would be cremated, his ashes scattered at sea.

“He always had a real affinity for the ocean,” she said.