top of page


Defying Rare brings comfort to children navigating a rare disease or disorder through our Golden Gift program and by providing opportunities to benefit from therapy and service dogs.

A child with a rare disease or disorder often spends a significant amount of time in the hospital undergoing tests and procedures that seem as if they may never end. Regular hospital visits are difficult for anyone to cope with; the mental and physical burden placed on children in these circumstances is immense. Our Golden Gifts program helps to ease anxiety and stress during these difficult times.


Golden Gifts include an adorable stuffed plush Golden Retriever (named Beans!) and a book that addresses some of the anxiety children may have around upcoming tests or procedures. This program is inspired by Irina Torres, beautiful daughter of founder Michelle Torres, and her own life-long journey with a rare disease. Learn more about our story

Therapy and Service Dog Partners 

We plan to introduce partners to increase access for families hoping to acquire a service dog for their child. Unfortunately, the cost is often prohibitively expensive to obtain a service dog, especially for families already struggling under the burden of high medical costs. Additionally, the time to acquire service dogs is often over 2 years. We aim to help increase access both financially and with shorter waits.

Scientific research has proven that therapy dogs can provide positive physical and emotional benefits by decreasing stress levels and fosters a sense of well-being, including an increase in confidence and independence. When therapy animals are introduced into a hospital setting, the benefits are vast. We are working to increase pediatric hospital access to therapy dog services.

two-guide-dogs-at-dog-training-2022-03-08-01-35-28-utc (1).jpg
bored-small-girl-in-bed-in-hospital-using-tablet-2022-02-02-04-49-36-utc (2)_edited.jpg

Help enrich the life of a sick child.

We are committed to helping patients with a rare disease or disorder.

Ivory Abstract Playful Positive Reminder Infographic (3)_edited.jpg

You can support the launch of our Therapy Partner and Service Dog Grant Program by giving a gift today.


Learn how you can take part in supporting Defying Rare .

bottom of page