Detroit Stories Episode 11: ‘Miracle for Maddeline’ (PODCAST)

Meet Maddeline and Daris Bartolon — immigrants who got the miracle they prayed for, thanks to a community who cared

(0:09) We meet Maddeline Lopez Bartolon, a 15-year-old choir member and parishioner at St. Gabriel in Detroit, who lives with a genetic condition called rickets.

(1:40) We learn about the Bartolons’ home in San Marcos, Guatemala, and the urgency of their need to come to the United States for Maddeline’s medical treatment.

(3:58) Kevin Piecuch, executive director at Southwest Detroit Immigration and Refugee Center, talks about some of the obstacles that face individuals and families trying to emigrate to the United States — and how long that can take.

(7:06) Enter: Strangers No Longer. We learn about the organization’s goal to support immigrants and refugees, and how they rallied around Maddeline and Daris to help them remain in the United States at least long enough to complete Maddeline’s treatment.

(11:03) Daris talks about the experience of receiving the deportation order and how at a loss she was for how to take care of Maddeline. Kevin then comes on board to make the Bartolons’ case to ICE.

(14:35) Irma, Kevin, and other Strangers No Longer members made calls, wrote letters, and advocated on behalf of Daris and Maddeline to postpone their deportation and win a humanitarian parole for them.

(16:59) Irma reflects on the moment they learned about the stay of deportation and what it meant for Maddeline and Daris. Kevin reflects on the change that a godly group of people can make when we raise our voices for a just cause.

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Reporting and narration by Casey McCorry; production by Ron Pangborn