ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) - The Rainbow Connection Walk for Kids took place at the Detroit Zoo Saturday.
The Rainbow Connection is a charity that makes dreams come true for Michigan children facing life-threatening illnesses. It's similar to Make-A-Wish Foundation, except it serves only Michigan children who are 30 months to 18 years old.
11-year-old Blake Jackson of White Lake served as the Wish Ambassador for the walk. The Rainbow Connection helped him and his family when he had Ewing's Sarcoma at just 13-months old.
“I’m just blessed and it’s kind of hard to tell my friends I had cancer because I’m just like any other 11-year-old,” said Blake. He is now ten years cancer free after he had an extensive bone marrow transplant.
"It was a shock to us all," said John Jackson, Blake's father. The Rainbow Connection helped the family who is from White lake, to get through their difficult time by granting Blake his wish of going to Disney World.
“It was about making decision that are our own and not ones that were made for us,” said Jackson. Blake helped WXYZ anchor Diana Lewis cut the ribbon to start the walk. Lewis joined the festivities Honorary Chair of the event, as Rainbow Connection Founder, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, recuperates from a car accident.
Hundreds of walkers and other volunteers raised $133,000 at last year's event.
"Over 88 cents of every dollar donated to the Rainbow Connection goes directly to our wish children,” said Mary Grace McCarter, Executive Director of The Rainbow Connection.
The walk started at 8:30 a.m. Participants are able to enjoy the zoo's exhibits free of charge for the rest of the day.
Admission into the Detroit Zoo along with parking is free.
Donations can be made online at www.rainbowconnection.org/walkforkids
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