Positively Upstate: Kids surprise 9-year-old boy whose request for rainbows has gone viral
GUILDERLAND, NY (WRGB)-- A 9-year-old Cohoes boy who tragically lost both of his parents in the span of just three weeks was given a huge surprise today.
After his loss, little Robbie Ecuyer has found comfort in rainbows, he's already received thousands of rainbow pictures from around the world.
Friday, hundreds of local kids surprised Robbie with something they were sure he'd like.
Robbie has a spirit that even inspires his older peers.
12-year-old Matthew Golanka goes to the YMCA Adventure Camp in Guilderland.
“Robbie's amazing, he's 9 years-old and I can’t imagine that happening to me at my age,” Golanka said.
Robbie has autism, and in May, he tragically lost his mom to complications from cystic fibrosis.
That's where the rainbows come in. Robbie's Dad tried to help him understand, explaining Mom had crossed over the rainbow bridge.
Robbie’s aunt Crystal Skawinski explained the connection.
“He got it from Dora the Explorer because Dora has the Rainbow Bridge,” Skawinski said.
No one knew that just 22 days later, Robbie would also lose his father, to heroin.
Now, Robbie finds comfort in looking at rainbows.
“It's when he wants to feel his parents presence,” Skawinski said.
Skawinski is now Robbie’s legal guardian. One day last month, when Robbie couldn't find any rainbows in the sky, Robbie's aunt made a Facebook post, asking for her friends to send Robbie rainbow pictures.
Since then, around 13,000 digital rainbows have come in from around the world, but Friday in Guilderland kids from local YMCA camps decided to do more. They sat Robbie in the front row, and performed a song they knew would mean a lot.
“It truly gives the meaning to what he went through and it's such a tough hard thing to go through, Golanka said.
400 kids from the Guilderland camp, and hundreds of others from camps around the area delivered Robbie hand painted rainbows.
CBS 6’s Anne McCloy asked Robbie how the presentation made him feel.
Robbie replied, “happy”.
It made Robbie's aunt feel good too.
“The support has been just amazing, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Skawinski said.
Skawinski said Robbie has been given so many rainbows there's too many to fit into a scrap book which was the original plan. She says she'll be saving all of them for Robbie on a CD, and the very best will make it into his special book.