'It's a childhood dream I had as an orphaned child in Africa'

'It's a childhood dream I had as an orphaned child in Africa' »Play Video
SEATTLE -- As a child in Kenya, Peter Kithene saw what happens when there is no health care or medicine for miles.

"I lost six of my siblings as a child, and I lost my parents when I was 12," he said.

Kithene watched helplessly as his parents succumbed to illnesses.

"They just got sick," he said. "Wanted to go to the hospital, but nowhere to go."

It appears the tragedy left a heavy impression on Kithene. The orphaned boy is now a man on a mission, opening medical clinics in remote villages.

"It's a childhood dream I had as an orphaned child in Africa, hoping and wishing that I could get out of the village and get an education and go back and give back," he said.

Where women once died in childbirth, they're now having healthy babies in his clinics. Dysentery was a death sentence.

"When something like diarrhea or cholera comes the entire village is wiped," said Kithene.

Kithene wasn't like other children in his village who were pressured to drop out of school. He was applying for a high school scholarship when he met the Crites, who ran an AIDS clinic.

"Instead of coming to us and saying, 'What can you do to help me?' he was the kid who came to us and said, 'Here's what I can do to help you," said Larry Crites.

The couple helped Kithene move to Seattle where he studied health care administration at the University of Washington.

Kithene's efforts have even earned him a CNN Heroes Award. And his heroics aren't over.

Each clinic he builds costs $50,000 a year to run. The money comes from fundraisers he holds here.

And Kithene doesn't just want to help his tribal villagers; he wants to help his country.

"I don't want other people to go through what I'm going through," he said.

Kithene is holding an auction this month to benefit his clinics in Kenya. For more information, click here.