Metro Detroit organization grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions

Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 19:02:04-04

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — In Rochester, Michigan, there's a magical place where the people refuse to let any moment of time take a wish away from a child.

"Coming to work every day and making dreams come true for children in Michigan that have been diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions is the ultimate job," said Ingrid Todt, wish director for The Rainbow Connection.

It's Todt's calling to care for children and families at a time of hopelessness and despair. The Rainbow Connection has a way of soothing a wounded soul.

"These children, they go to the hospital and they stay for days, weeks, months," Todt said. "Sometimes they go in not knowing they're sick and they don't get to leave."

Susan Pake was a parent who lived with a remarkable sense of fear for her precious daughter Julyana when she was just 2 years old. Susan's fear was that Julyana wouldn't get past her illness.

"I would lose her," Susan said. "She just wasn't feeling good, not her normal self. I took her into the hospital and after testing and everything like that, they came in and told me she had Leukemia. I wasn't really familiar with it. It... just broke my heart."

Susan said she thought it was the end of her world.

"We just prayed every day and I just asked for mercy," she said.

And right away, Julyana started being tested and getting set up for a port and everything, Susan said. Now Julyana is cancer-free.

"She made it," Susan said. "She's cancer-free and she can play again and have tons of fun."

Susan added that through the entire ordeal, The Rainbow Connection was there for her and her family.

"Everything that they do for Julyana and for all the other kids, they're just awesome," she said. "It's a Godsend."

The Rainbow Connection is about kids, hope and making their wishes come true no matter how big or small. No is never an option, even during a pandemic. Where there is a wish, The Rainbow Connection makes a way. Like sending 17 families to Florida to Disney in the last month.

There are opportunities to donate, volunteer, do workplace giving, donate auction items – anything and everything helps make wishes come true at The Rainbow Connection. They appreciate your support and look forward to working with every one of you. Please visit