Molly's cottage: Making young cancer patient's dream come true

12-year-old Ann Arbor cancer patient's dream of building playhouse cottage

By Frank McGeorge - Reporter

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - It started out as a dream drawn on a sketch pad in a hospital room. Now that dream is coming true for an Ann Arbor, Mich., girl battling cancer.

At only 12 years old, Molly Cooke has been through more pain than most adults can imagine. About a year ago, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

"They said it was a bone cancer, and they said it could relapse," said Molly.

She endured surgery and chemotherapy.

"It was really really hard," said Molly. "I was nauseous and couldn't eat a lot."

But a ray of sunshine helped Molly through some of her most difficult days. While she was in the hospital, a child life specialist contacted a local organization called The Rainbow Connection to help fulfill Molly's dream -- to build a playhouse cottage.

Ingrid Todt is the wish director who helped Molly.

"Children wish to go somewhere, meet someone or get something," said Todt. "I don't even consider this getting something. This is just the most awesome wish we've ever been able to participate in, and it's incredible because so many people have gotten involved to make this happen."

Molly's sketches started the project.

"I just always loved drawing, and I kind of like drawing houses better because I can't draw people," said Molly.

An architect helped turn Molly's sketches into detailed plans for what would become the ultimate playhouse.

"The original design was much bigger," said Molly. "Eventually I scaled it down and decided to put a loft in it."

The Rainbow Connection is a Rochester-based non-profit whose mission is to bring joy where there is usually only difficulty for children facing life-threatening illnesses in Michigan.

"The Rainbow Connection strives to take the wish of a child and make it happen," said Todt. "We want to give them something wonderful and awesome and worry-free to look forward to to get them through the days that are tougher than others."

They were able to identify local contractors, builders and other charitable organizations who volunteered their time and materials to bring Molly's dream together. Everything from the roof to the floors, the furniture and the landscaping, are all donated.

"It makes me feel so amazing because all these people just took their time to help, and I can't believe it," said Molly.

Molly's cottage is scheduled to be completed by October 31st, which also happens to be Molly's 13th birthday. Molly is already planning sleepovers and parties in the cottage, and plans to invite some of the other children she met while she was in the hospital.

If you want to help make more dreams like Molly's come true, visit The Rainbow Connection.

You can also watch a slideshow of Molly's cottage being built.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.