The sad reality is that every minute of every day a child is admitted to hospital in Australia and unfortunately thousands of these children are then faced with a diagnosis that can change their life, and the lives of their family, forever.
The Starlight Children’s Foundation transforms the hospital experience for these children, by replacing pain, fear and boredom, with fun, joy and laughter.
Starlight Day is fast approaching and Starlight is calling on volunteers nation-wide to lend a helping hand on Friday May 04 and make a real difference to the lives of seriously ill children in Australia.
Starlight relies on the generosity of the Australian public to deliver its programs year after year and, with volunteer numbers dwindling, is in desperate need of 300 big-hearted Aussies to help sell Starlight wands, stress stars and key rings in metro areas across the nation!
Friday May 04 will see Australian men and women from all walks of life coming together in an effort to raise $2 million in Starlight’s biggest fundraising event of the year!
“Volunteers are a vital part of Starlight,” says Starlight CEO Louise Baxter.
“Starlight doesn’t receive government funding so we rely on the support of volunteers to bring our programs to life – and Starlight Day is when we need them most!”
Funds raised on the Starlight Day will guarantee hospital programs such as Captain Starlight, the Starlight Express Room and our adolescent program, Livewire, can be maintained in all major paediatric hospitals around the country.
Taylor has been in and out of hospital for most of her young life.
Diagnosed with a chronic bowel condition and severe gastric reflux at age two, Taylor needs regular treatment that is often painful and requires hospital admissions that can be months long.
Taylor has endured bowel washouts, enemas, injections, colonoscopies and endoscopies – until she finally had surgery to partially remove her colon and insert a stomach button.
However such severe procedures took their toll on Taylor’s little body and she became increasingly despondent to treatment… until she discovered the Starlight Express Room.
In the Starlight Express Room sick children and their families can get away from the trauma of being in hospital and Taylor forgets about her treatment when she can sing and dance, get her face painted, and make balloon animals with Captain Starlight.
Taylor’s mum Fiona says, “Captain Starlight has never disappointed her… they even helped her recover”.
In the Starlight Express Room, Captain Starlight uses the latest in gaming technologies, movies, music, magic and craft to help children escape from the pain, fear and loneliness associated with hospitalisation.
All Starlight programs are centered on the social model of health, which recognises the role of play, fun and social interaction as critical to health and wellbeing.
While health professionals focus on treating the illness, Starlight is there to focus on the child – lifting their spirits, giving them an opportunity to laugh and play, building resilience and improving their wellbeing.
To get involved visit the Starlight Day website or phone: 1300 727 827.
Lauren Arena is a freelance journalist in Sydney and currently works for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.