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Internet Comforts Orphaned Autistic Boy By Sending Rainbow Photos

Nine-year-old Robbie Ecuyer has been receiving photos of rainbows by the thousands from across the globe, after his aunt Crystal Skawinski took to Facebook to seek some solace for her recently-orphaned nephew after he went through a huge tragedy.


(Left) Crystal Skawinski | (Right) Siv Hoas

Robbie has recently gone through tremendous tragedy after both of his parents died in the same month. His mother died of cystic fibrosis and gastroparesis on May 2. Three weeks later, his father died from drug overdose. The orphaned boy now lives under the custody of his aunt.

Skawinski, 37, said that “The first loss, my sister, was hard enough.” After the death of his father as well, it was even harder. “He lost his bedroom, his toys, his mom, his dad and everything that was consistent in his life. Robbie is autistic and the consistency in life is what [he is] used to, so all of that was taken away.”


Crystal Skawinski

After the death of his mother, his father comforted him by saying that she “went over the rainbow bridge.” It made Ecuyer happy every time he saw a one.

Skawinski said that “When he didn’t get a rainbow one day, I just went on Facebook and started asking for them.”

The trend “#rainbowsforrobbie” thus began on July 22, when Skawinski first posted: “It’s raining so Robbie came out to check for rainbows. Make sure you send me rainbow pics if you have them!!!!”


(Upper Left) Martha Lazuk Swift | (Bottom Left) Christine Santilli Prescott | (Right) Gian Mufalli

On her second post, Skawinski shared: “Today this was Robbie outside in the rain hoping to see a rainbow. He’s been told his parents have gone over the rainbow bridge and he looks for them eagerly. Robbie is autistic. I love showing him rainbows so if anyone has any rainbow pics (especially double rainbows) you can always message me or put it in the comments. Then he can see rainbows around the world.”

After receiving thousands of images from Paris, Niagara Falls, Norway and even Taiwan, Skawinski shared that “It’s very comforting knowing that so many people have reached out to him with the simple request of a rainbow. It’s like he has a whole world behind him now.”

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