Starlight putting a smile on kids’ faces

Posted on Thursday, 30 January 2014

For seriously-ill children life can seem like one giant merry-go-round of hospital and doctor visits, medicines and painful operations.

It can be a never-ending cycle for some but this is where organisations like the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia come in.

Formed in 1988, the organisation helps brighten the lives of chronically-ill children and relieve the anxiety of being sick with their in-hospital programs including the Starlight Express Rooms with Captain Starlight and their out-of-hospital Wishgranting program.

“Starlight aims to transform these children’s experiences by replacing pain, fear and boredom with fun, joy and laughter. While health professionals focus on treating the illness, we can offer sick kids support and help them be a child again,” said Louise Baxter, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia.

In 2013, Starlight granted 462 wishes across Australia and their goal in 2014 is to grant 500 more to seriously-ill and hospitalised children. On average, one wish may take up to 18 months to grant depending on the situation and the medical complexity of the case.

Canterbury League Club recently participated in the NRL Footy Show’s ‘Big Change for Little Champions’ Telethon and proceeds of the night went towards supporting Starlight’s in-hospital Starlight Express Room programs.

Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club, was there on the night to present a cheque for $20,000 to Starlight.

“It is hard for seriously-ill children to have a normal childhood as they may spend a lot of time in hospital. Organisations like Starlight are so valuable because they help change lives and create life-changing memories for these sick kids,” said Dr George Peponis.