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Starlight Children's Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Patient & Family Support, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion, Public Foundations

Mission: Starlight delivers happiness to seriously ill kids and their families. For more than 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. With your help, more kids and their families will enjoy Starlight Virtual Reality, Starlight Hospital Wear, Starlight Gaming, and other Starlight programs at a children’s hospital or facility near you. Support Starlight’s work by visiting www.starlight.org.

Results: Since 1982, Starlight has delivered happiness to more than 16 million seriously ill children in the United States.

Target demographics: Delivering happiness to seriously ill children and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Millions of hospitalized children and their families

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Starlight Virtual Reality, Starlight Hospital Wear, Starlight Gaming, Starlight Deliveries, and Starlight Spaces.

Community Stories

142 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

rleighr

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Starlight Children's Foundation through their program, Starbright World. Through Starbright World, I made an incredible network of friends, who could always relate to my everyday health issues and be there to support me. Even though I was only a member of Starbright World for a year or so, I gained so much confidence in learned that I was not alone in my everyday struggles. When I turned 21, and Starbright World asked me to be a volunteer, I felt so honored because I feel like I owe so much to the program for what they have done for me in the short time I was a member. As a volunteer, I love being able to give back to the organization that has literally changed my life, and helped form me into the woman I am today. Starlight and Starbright World give so much effort to caring personally for each child who reaches out to them, and I feel like that is what makes this foundation so special and amazing.

Jodi L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this Foundation! Starlight has helped My Family in so many different ways, there are to many words that express how I feel about them. They have been a Heaven Sent to us. My Family always looks forward to their events for great times and to be able to have some Fun with other families going thru thing just like us. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!

Ashley64

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Starlight Children's Foundation has done more for me than I ever thought possible. They have helped me become the person I am today by accepting me openly even with my disease. It has been very challenging ,yet, heart warming to be part of such a community in such a difficult point in my life. I am so fortunate to have them and the opportunity to give back to them, after all they did for me.

rjharris

Client Served

Rating: 4

Starlight has been a wonderful organization. I have a daughter with multiple disabilities and she has been involved in the great escapes program. For years, we used to go to so many outings. We were able to go to the zoo, world aquarium, a musical, etc. We would go to a fabulous Christmas party. We looked so forward to these events. Because of the expenses of having a special needs child, we don't get to go to these places. Starlight gave us that opportunity. My daughter would get so excited about these activities. It was fun because we were able to go to places we had never been and experience these events with families just like us. Unfortunately, there have not been any escapes since last September. We sure miss them.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We are a FB group called Michael's Circle of Love. We are a group of Michael Jackson fans that want to continue his legacy of sending Love and Healing to the World, especially children. We were looking for an extension of our group for Charitable work, following Michael's example. We learned that Starlight Children's foundation was one of the many Charities he supported in his lifetime. We learned the purpose of Starlight was to give children and their families in hospitals some joy and happiness. Michael knew that this was essential to healing. In every city around the world where Michael had a concert, he made sure to include a visit to a hospital or orphanage to bring toys and purchace any equipment they might need. He would spend hours visiting the children just to make them happy. We love the fun stations that are provided for the children to play video games and watch movies or cartoons, some of Michael's favorite things.

Nicole71

Donor

Rating: 5

I first became aware of this Org. in 2002 when my cousin aged 2 was diagnosed with Cancer. His hospital stays were long and frequent but Starlight made those visits fun with their Fun-Centers, clowns and overall cheer.

Over the years, I am proud to see the Org. grow, and see more fun-centers and trips planned. This organization was pivotal to my cousins happiness and to so many still suffering from illness.

Comments ( 1 )

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laura.willison 09/10/2013

Thank you Nicole for reaching out and telling your story!! We so appreciate it. xx

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough great things about this amazing foundation. My family and I got involved with it a few years back. My brother is a cancer survivor and while he was sick we never had any fun. This foundation let us be a family again, it let us have fun together. It truly brought back a light in our family that was lost the day my brother was diagnosed. It makes sense why it's called the Starlight Foundation it's because they literally light up whom ever they're serving. The great escapes gave our family an escape and we were finally happy again. I couldn't be more proud to be a part of such a great foundation. I'm ever starting a club at my college to give back charities that have helped my family throughout this experience and Starlight is definitely on that list of charities I want to help. I've just been so inspired to do big things thanks to the Starlight Foundation. It will always be a part of my life and in my heart.

Comments ( 1 )

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laura.willison 09/10/2013

Thank you so much Shanguzman for sharing your Starlight story. We'd love that you are starting a club to get involved with non-profits at your school, keep us posted on how that goes. xx

Christopher33

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This charity is absolutely amazing! I have done sponsorships for you and am currently doing one again! You are a true team who are willing to do anything and i applaud you.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This charity is an amazing Oginization for all man kind. This charity makes kids and family feel like people other than family and friends care about them. I am one of many people who 100% support this charity. The staff that runs this charity should be very proud of themselves for making kids who might be different then others feel special in every way.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization since around 2007, and have quite benefited from their programs. Most notably the online website and chat room: Starbright World. This website allowed me to speak to many other children going through the same and similar things as myself.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first got involved with Starlight when I was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Neuroblastoma which was a solid tumor on the adrenal gland. Since then I have greatly benefited from it's many programs. From the Great Escapes; where sick children can meet each other at fun events, to the wish trip that Starlight Canada granted for me, and sent me to Disney World, to the online website and chat Starbight World where teens with illnesses can connect and have access to tons of resources

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been part of the starlight foundation for nearly 4 years. My brother became a member of Livewire and then asked me to join as a ‘sibling.’ Since then he has been granted a wish where he got a brand new TV and other technological goods that any 17 year old boy would love. Last year Livewire joined the Starbright World chat room and now we talk to people from America and Canada. Such a great organisation bringing so many smiles to so many faces.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family has been part of the Starlight Starbright Foundation since about 2004. They have put many smiles on my son's face and gave him things that I could not ever give him myself. In my son's memory, who is now an Angel in Heaven since 2009, would have wanted me to say how much he loved Starlight!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family has been part of the Starlight foundation on behalf of my son since 2010, and this organization is truly amazing. They give our children opportunities to attend so many wonderful events that meet other great families with similar situations and it makes it nice to know that you're not alone. Thank you Starlight Foundation for all the wonderful things you do for our families!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight is great! My family has been apart of the Starlight program ever since 2001 and Starlight has been nothing but great to us! We are so thankful to be apart of such a great organization! Thank You, Starllight!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been a Starlight Child since 2000! She and her family have been invited to and exposed to so many well planned and staffed "Great Escape Events" through the years! We have met many Starlight Children and their families too. It's been a welcomed site in our household, to receive an invitation, respond, and then be greeted by the smiles of Starlight staff and volunteers, at these events. My daughter then looks to see who will "show up" as the "Star Power Ambassadors" for the day. We cherise the many memories and friends we have made over the years. Seeing her enjoy fun, creative, happy times, eat great food, and learn what it means to give back, continues to be an AWESOME learning experience for her and her family. Starlight understands that the entire family is involved with the child's life, and has included them in planning events! THANK YOU, STARLIGHT CHILDREN'S FOUNDATION!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight is a truly amazing organization to be part of. Our family has had the opportunity to do so many wonderful events that we wouldn't have been able to do ourselves! They offer Starlight children and their siblings back " the sheer bliss of innocence and excitement" that was tragically taken from them. I will always cherish these memories they have given so graciously to us! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

Shalanda K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight has give my family and child the opportunity to get out and get to know other family's in a caring and nurturing environment. We love how the staff goes beyond their call of duty. Thank you starlight for allowing my family a fun escape.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ask any kid with a chronic illness what they would change about their life, if they could. The most common answer? To be normal. While there is no magic wand to make us normal, there is Starlight, and they come pretty close. Starlight offers events for chronically ill children and their families that help them forget about their sickness, doctors visits, treatment, and be able to be a normal family again. I love going to Starlight events because it gives my family and I an opportunity to bond over and share an experience outside of the realm of hospitals and sickness. It is something we can look back on and remember that, even though I was sick at the time, we were still able to enjoy being a family once in a while. Being in the hospital, you miss out on a lot of simple, normal things, like school dances or sports games. Starlight makes up for all of that by offering fun activities that appeal to every kid, no matter age or gender. Starlight it truly an amazing organization that has changed our lives, and for that my family and I will always be grateful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight Children's Foundation is absolutely amazing. We have been involved with this organization since July 2010. My daughter looks forward to each event and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to experience the variety of outings. We wholeheartedly appreciate all the generous donations and efforts that go into these events. My daughter feels a sense of relief and is at total peace when she is able to create and forget about the ordeal she has gone through during treatment. Thank you Starlight from the bottoms of our hearts!!!

Sharon67

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been a member of Starlight for almost 4 years now. Our son is our Starlight child. It has been a most welcome foundation for us. We are able to go out and do things we normally would not. It is hard for a lot of patients and their families to be "normal" just for once. Starlight makes this possible with their great escapes. You get to meet other families, although, some medical conditions are much different than the one we are dealing with, we (the kids and parents) are all the same. We just want to have a good day and have some fun for once. Thank you Starlight and your sponsors. Without you, our fun and adventures would not be possible. Such a great organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are with Starlight since 2008 when my daugether was diagnostic with ALL leukemia.The organization make us feel welcome in many nice events with we pafrticipate made our family confortable and have fun without think in hospital and others things...Thank you so much to be a great foundation help and giving good times for our family..Silvia Todesco

Client Served

Rating: 5

We've been a part of the starlight family for over five years now. They are such a great escape for families. To be able to escape the world of hospitals, doctors and treatments is such a big deal for the whole family. Even after the struggle with cancer sent our sweet angel to heaven, Starlight kept us as part of their family. I think Starlight will never truly know how much they've done for our family. Thank you from the bottom of out hearts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have just recently become involved with this group and are already glad we have. They are all very warm and helpful. My granddaughter has a condition she will live with the rest of her life but their generosity and caring will help make her and the families lives less stressful and the events they host are great, cant thank them and their donors enough, thanks for caring

Roberta12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Starlight for many years. I think their programs both in the hospital and through Great Escapes are amazing. The in-hospital programs with the Fun Centers bring hours of joy to kids who are suffering from serious illnesses - it really helps to take their minds off of the struggles even if only for a little while. The Starbright World network is also amazing as it helps kids find other kids who are going through the same illnesses as they are - really helps them to not feel alone in their struggles. And the Great Escapes are truly wonderful opportunities for the whole family to enjoy really great entertainment together and feel "normal" for the day. It's also a great opportunity for the families and kids to meet other families and kids going through similar things. And it's fantastic that it's for all the siblings too who tend to get overlooked sometimes as the parents have to spend so much time taking care of their sick sibling. This organization is all around fantastic.

Frankie V.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight is a great organization with a group of people that are so dedicated and interested in the joy they provide to children with serious illnesses. The Starlight team is a group that includes siblings as they are impacted by the severity of the illness and situation too, but often overlooked. Thank you Starlight, from the father and family of a Survivor.

Cee K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Starlight is an amazing organization, they help so many children around the world and the family's who struggle having to deal with life threatening illness , they bring smiles to so many, over the last 25 years I have been so proud to be a volunteer for such a wonderful non profit, and all the people and major companies who donate to help all of these family's no matter what language is spoken, no dream or wish at the time wasn't fulfilled.I wish to say Thank you to all the people who have helped Starlight achieve the goal of giving to those who are so in need.I feel very blessed to continue to support Starlight when ever I can Winter-wonderland at CBS studios is next

Adam26

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so happy and proud to be apart of and volunteering for the Starlight Children's Foundation. I started out as a member of this organization benefiting through their online Social Network known as "Starbright World." Now, I am more than grateful to be giving back to them. Through Starbright World, Teenagers come on and escape the realities of the constant pains of their serious illnesses and conditions. This wonderful place is an virtual world that Teens can log onto, find, talk to, & relate both with their Serious Illnesses & Conditions and common interests that hold them together and the pains of what they go through daily thanks to the likes & vision of Steven Spielberg. I have met so many people, I am proud to have journey along with and see how they have held their own through their illnesses to reach their dreams, but yet be close by them to encourage them to look through the challenges and see all the positives that are within their reach if they keep their head held high while in the Hospital Bed, just like I have.

As I said Earlier, once as a user myself and now a volunteer, Starbright World has everyday given me a place to share who I am, what I have done, and what I can do through all the surgeries I have faced with my Hydrocephalus. Today, I am proud to be giving back to this wonderful program and organization as a Volunteer Chat Host, encouraging Starbrighters to keep their head held high and keep battling through all the challenges of their Illnesses, as once did the many Hosts and Best Friends I have now did for me way back then. It is thanks to Starbright World & Starlight Children's Foundation that I a place to know that I am not alone when it comes to having the difficulties I face with my Condition and yet feeling a sense of satisfaction because they taught me that I am not alone and I am happy to be sharing that same feeling as a volunteer with new members coming on through this program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight became part of our life last year. Our son has been in and out of the hospital since he was born. The crazy thing is that to look at him you would not know. After another surgery, a wheelchair, and having to move into a house that would work for him, we were in shock. It is an amazing feeling to look accross the room, and although the family may not be dealing with the same diagnosis they understand our world. Starlight make this possible. We don't get out much and when we do our son is a lot of work. It is refreshing to attend an event where not only we as parents feel like one of the crowd, but so does our son. We have met the most amazing volunteers and other Starlight families through our journey. It is amazing for a foundation to care enough to allow families to gather for events which we would never normally be able to go to, and walk through a crowd with a group of families. I know that we cannot change what is going on medically with our son, but we now have a Starlight family who truly understands what our life is like. Thank you for all you do!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight Children's Foundation has been an amazing part of our journey with our youngest daughter, Sami. She has so many medical challenges everyday and tires easily. Having an EVENT to look forward to with Startlight offers her an amazing distraction and we love to hear her excitement. The events also have given us some amazing "family time" together and allows our whole family to focus on our blessings amidst the challenges. The staff members are incredibly kind and caring. They always make sure everyone is involved in the fun in some way!

Sara65

Client Served

Rating: 5

So just imagine the loneliness and sadness you feel when you have a child afflicted with a special need. You can become withdrawn from society and others. Well Starlight has prevented this from happening with our family. We have 3 kids one of which has a chromosome abnormality that there are no other documented cases of. This organization allows us to experience events that we would not other wise experience. All the kids can participate and we have been lucky to receive fun giveaways at the events...my 9 year old daughter loves that when she is having a hard time she can wrap herself in all the pillow pets she has gotten as giveaways and she loves it. We have attended Christmas events, padres games, animal adventures, water park type events, pumpkin patch, and so much more always with great memories following us home. Thank you Starlight! You will always be top in our family!

Kimberly32

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Starlight Foundation has done wonders for my Daughter Kyleigh, the excitement in her eyes when i tell her about an event is wonderful. The children have a blast with everything Starlight has done for them, and the staff is AMAZING!!!! THANK YOU STARLIGHT!!!!!!

Brandy W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter, her family and I were just invited to join the Starlight foundation. It has already been a wonderful experience. I spent nearly 2 years going to surgeries, cardiologist appointments and regular dr. visits for my 2 year and 7 month old girl. This has taken away the time we would of used for cultural events. Along with the fact that my daughter's heart surgeries and care have strained me financial, time off work for months and such, this is a wonderful organization. We are truly thankful for this Non-Profit group. Sincerely, Brandy Wirtz

Sarah104

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a part of Starlight as a child and love this organization. They not only help kids adjust to being diagnosed, but they prove that they are not alone. Whether they meet someone with their own illness or someone they can relate to. starlight touches many hearts through their aim of bettering kids lives. I have met many wonderful friends who have helped me through many transitions in life. I feel so lucky that I have had the opportunity to be a part of this organization. Even though my role on their website will end in a month, I will always cherish the people that have touched my life there. When my Crohn's disease repeatedly hit me, I knew I would always have someone to relate to me there, and when mental health hit even harder, I got a shoulder to cry on. They have truly made my life better.

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Starlight Children's Foundation was a bright light for my whole family during and since my son went through a second bout of treatment for a childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma, I feel very fortunate that we have such a great organization for families going through a difficult time by bringing some joy.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is wonderful! Having a child with special needs can sometimes be overwhelming, sometimes you are so busy with that child that your other children do not get that extra time with you. The Starlight Foundation is geared towards families and allows all of us to partake in activities as a family. This is so important to us parents that they give us that gift!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you Starlight for all the wonderful moments you have brought to our family during our difficult times. We are very thankful to be part of such a wonderful program that cares about others. May you continue to brighten many childrens lives...Marquez Family!

Client Served

Rating: 4

There are many organizations that support families while their child is in cancer treatment. We are fortunate to have been touched by many of them. Starlight has been one of our favorites, because it focuses on honoring the whole family having fun together. We've enjoyed some really wonderful experiences together-among our favorites were hanging out with the Harlem Globetrotters, exploring at the Cal Science Center and meeting the creators at Disney Online Studios. Starlight is one bright spot in our journey to wellness.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Starlight since I was really young and it has helped me in hospital and to cope with my physical disability.

Client Served

Rating: 5

i first found out of starlight after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. i had received a coloring book and in the back it had websites for children and their siblings to help them cope. i was on the Starlight website when i came across a website for an online community called Starbright World. through the on line community i met other people that were able to understand what i go through, and they helped me find ways to cope with something new. if it wasn't for starlight children's foundation i wouldn't have met so many of my friend wouldn't even know them. i love starlight and what they do for us. they are truely a great foundation, and they make soo manythings possible for us. i would recommend it to anyone who could use their help

Sami K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I joined Starbright World - a program of Starlight Children's Foundation and online community for teens with chronic illnesses - at seventeen, three years past my diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. I honestly wish I'd joined sooner - Starlight has given me the greatest gift through Starbright World. I have met friends around the world who inspire me daily, I have been given opportunities to find my voice, and I have been introduced to the most fabulous mentors through the hosts who keep Starbright World a safe and fun community for all. I love that I can log into IM and immediately have the chance to engage with other teens who understand what it's like to live in and out of the chronic illness world as a teenager.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was connected with Starlight Foundation when I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in May 2012. I was given many resources and even offered a space to blog on the Huffington Post. The kindness and generosity shown to me by Starlight was heartwarming and extremely helpful in helping me overcome a lot of the emotional obstacles that came with my diagnosis. The blog has been an incredible outlet for me to express my feelings on my experiences with cancer as well as articulate what I have learned from the ordeal. I think that Starlight is an inspiring foundation. The work they do for children and adolescents is phenomenal and admirable. I am very thankful for what they have done for me and for others. Thank you Starlight!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was SO HAPPY to find Starlight when I did! I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and no one could understand what I was going thru at all. I was totally depressed and felt miserable all the time. Most of my friends at school were nice to me but totally didn't get it and some of them even thought I was contagious and wouldn't even talk to me anymore (crohns is NOT contagious) . When I found Starbright World (a website run by Starlight for high school aged kids ) i was able to meet other people who were sick like me. I made friends the FIRST DAY I logged into the chat room and felt like EVERYONE got me right away. I feel like this is my second home and even tho I have not met my SBW friends in person, I feel closer to them than some of my in person friends. I dont know what I would do without it!

Client Served

Rating: 5

When our son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, there weren't a lot of positives to it needless to say. But, the activities we have been able to participate in with Starlight have been so much fun and have made a hard situation better.

Donor

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization! Truly dedicated to children. Im beyond convinced of their capabilities and will continue to be a donor.

Charlene A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlights events have inspired my daughter to make new friends and see new things, after her diagnosis in 2006 from cancer, she was very reserved and a little angry, her focus was on how she was feeling, after the first few events I started to see a change, her esteem was building, and she was seeing familiar faces from the hospital, it encouraged her to make plans even, I am very grateful to this foundation for bringing smiles and happiness back into my daughter and the rest of my family.

Brenda28

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has serious health problems which impact our whole family on a daily basis. We are constantlyat the hospitalor drs appointments and he has to be homeschooled. I have had to quit my job to be homme for him so we live on a fixed disability income. as a single parent iam just making ends meet but there are no extras for my kids. starlight has provided many events including granting my sons wish a trip to disneyworld for the family and many concderts, sporting events and seasonal parties with other families that share similar experiennces. They even have their own xmas toy shop where i was able to pick out some toys and stocking stuffers for my kids. Since joining startlight our family feels truly blessed rather than cursed by my sons illness. If he were well we would not have met all of the wonderful starlight staff and famillies and got to attend all of the functions. they deserve an award for providing joy to famillies where little joy existed before. I am eternally grateful to them.

Donor

Rating: 5

Starlight is an amazing organization with uplifting family stories and people who work tirelessly for the cause. Thank you to all the hospitals and all the health care workers making a difference everyday.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen first hand how this great organization has helped so many children and their families. Starlight Childrens Foundation is truly dedicated to these children in desperate need of happiness in a time when its needed most. God Bless you Starlight for always keeping the children your number one priority!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with Starlight Florida, I have experienced the joy and enthusiasm among the children with my company, Broward Sheriff's Office, Great Escape. Starlight is a great organization, and I look forward in continuing our partnership with them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being a parent of a child with the sickle cell anemia disease, I know, first hand, all the emotional stressors, which can be associated with the disease for both the child and the family . To that end, the Starlight Children's Foundation of Florida -through its different activities, one of which is the Great Escape, has helped alleviate some of the daily stressors, by giving an opportunity to the entire family to share some quality time together and with other families. This sharing/learning time is very therapeutic. The hands-on activities for the children, the food, the gifts, etc., have made Great Escape even funnier.
I am very appreciative and grateful for such an organization for being there not only for the children with chronic health issues, but for their families as well.

dkinnder

Client Served

Rating: 5

Daniel was born almost 8 weeks early. We waited to see what if any complications were to follow. He suffered many hospitalizations in the first year of life that we didn't even remember we had a real house to go home to. As the next few years went by we spent more time in doctors offices and therapy centers to provide him with the best quality of life as possible. Then we found out that he suffered a tramitic brain injury somewhere in the first year of life. We shifted gears over the next several years to continue our efforts on doing what was best for him but we started to forget about ourselves and what we needed. Our other two kids were always put on the back burner becuase we had to get their brother to a doctors appt or therapy appt. When Daniel was about 7 we were introduced to the Starlight Family. OUr first outing was to the circus. We hadn't been in years. We all had a great time and for the first time in a long time we heard all 3 kids laughing and having a good time. We knew that wihout Starlight we would not have made the time. We also didn't have to worry about how to pay for this as they covered everything so that we could attend. We no longer had to make a choice about to go out as a family or pay for extra medications or therapies. Starlight has always stepped in when we needed it the most. When the stress at home from the day to day struggles get to be so much that you just have to shift gears and enjoy each other. The great escapes and day brightners have proivded our family with opportunities that we could not have done without their support. They have become part of our family that we will never forget about.

Previous Stories
9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Daniel was born at 32 ½ weeks. At first with only a 8 day NICU stay we didn’t think much then about what he would be faced with later. When he was in preschool he didn’t communicate and was not social with the other kids. At 5 he was diagnosed with a condition called non-verbal learning disorder and at 7 the MRI showed damage to the right hemisphere indicative of a traumatic brain injury. I was working at our local children’s when I was first approached by great escapes offering a new service in town. As I learned about it I also told them that I had their first client with my own son and I have been a family member since. Each day my son struggles to do what comes naturally to most of us. He doesn’t see himself as different just someone that leans differently and he has always set out to do the best that he can. However, that doesn’t come without being discouraged when he can’t, for being isolated from his peers who don’t understand or when he is pointed to when he acts different. Starlight has become a second family to him as well as all of us. He is free to participate as is without prejudice and he has met other children who share his some struggles. As a family we have met many wonderful families who have been down the same path as we have and only they can understand how sometimes the smallest of steps of access are nothing short that a major triumph in our world. We moved a couple of years ago, and despite leaving friends behind Daniel said is there are starlight group where we were going and I was happy to tell him yes. He was so happy to meet his new family and it was a a familiar atmosphere to him making the move a little easier for him and all of us. The time we spend with our Starlight Family gives us the opportunity to step back and just enjoy each other and see everyone laugh and have a good time. This doesn’t replace the daily challenges that Daniel faces or that we all face with him but for a few hours each month, it assures that we all focus on a fun family time atmosphere. We have been very lucky to participate in a host of events from ice skating, to the circus, to major leagues sporting events and a host of other activities. Raising a child with an life long illness is a major financial and emotional undertaking that without Starlight family we could not either afford to do on our own much less carve out the time to go do it. The Smith Family

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

We are so thankful for Starlight for all that they do for us with the Great Escapes that we have attended so far.

Without them we may not have as much closeness as a family that we have now. We can come home and talk about what a wonderful time we had together, with work and school we only have but so much time to spend together so we are very grateful.

From the bottom of our hearts we say THANK YOU!

lizalu

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family received a devastating diagnosis of childhood cancer almost 4 years ago that completely changed our lives. We lost income, freedom and the "normalcy" we once enjoyed as a family. Slowly we began to adjust to our "new normal" that included caring for our young daughter as she fought for her life. We had no energy, nor the means to plan activities or excursions for our family of 5. We learned of Starlight Children's Foundation through a cancer wellness center in our area. Starlight made it possible for us to enjoy family time again...time to reconnect...time to forget about childhood cancer for a while...time to experience new people, new places and new friends. Starlight's Great Escapes and Day Brighteners are aptly named; we have experienced both - a time to escape the realities of childhood cancer and days full of brightness...THANKS Starlight!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year I expounded on my personal most favorite thing about Starlight which was the inclusion of the Starlight Child's siblings and family in events. The events then become a family affair rather than all about the "sick kid". It brings families together to help each other, everyone gets a fun outing and all the children get to share in the fun.

This was never more important than this year when one of our Starlight Children lost her battle with a very aggressive cancer. She made it to our event the previous month, weak but glad to be there. When she passed, her family specifically scheduled her Celebration of Life so it wouldn't conflict with any Starlight events. Starlight had meant so much to them while their daughter was alive and they didn't want to create a tough choice for the other families ie: her service or a Starlight event to help their own kids. That's how important Starlight was to the family. I couldn't say it any better than thru their sacrifice.

Starlight Children's Foundation like so many other non-profits in this tough economy, really needs the support of America to continue to provide the programs that bring something so special to our kids. Joy. We can't live without that can we?

Thank you for your support!

Christy Hertsch

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about Starlight from a co-worker. When I asked to volunteer, I was welcomed as an asset and provided all the training and support I needed to be as effective and understanding as I could be. I quickly found that even though I was the volunteer helping our families enjoy a fun outing during very difficult times, I was the one who was receiving the greatest gift. Humility, grace and the joy of service. At an event one of our kids grandfather took me aside and told me that he so appreciated my volunteering time and effort. He was able to be with his grandson while he was laughing, playing, and socializing. Most of the time he was with his grandson during grueling therapy, hospitalizations, difficult doctors appointments and being left behind while his siblings and classmates were able to run and play. His gift was joy and he was grateful to Starlight Children's Foundation for all the fundraising work, volunteers, special events, and FUN! Starlight has made me a better person. Starlight has made me so much more appreciative of life in general. Thank you

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is Irene meyers I have a 16 year old daughter just last year was diagnosed with crohn's disease i or my family never heard this disease shes been hospitalized 3 times and had 3 colon oscopy a endoscopy 2 times numerous blood work done and this december had to get a endoscopy done a chest x ray blood work ultrasound on her chest because they found she had a infection of her lungs because she was taking steroids for her crohn's wich caused her infection. she also had mono ontop of everything else and a enlarge spllen this all happened at same time in december. we dont get any help threw government we make to much monety how when i'm still paying for previous medical bills from last december well anyway Starlight foundation has helped my family. to forget about our problems and enjoy our time together as a family Thank you the meyers family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight has changed our quality of life. Thanks to Starlight Greatescapes Progam we have had the opportunity to attend wonderful, fun filled local events free of cost! Thank you starlight for all that you do!

Dawn Chris G.

Client Served

Rating: 4

After our son was diagnosed with cancer at age 9 we heard about Starlight. Our family is so grateful for the events and how Starlight includes all the siblings in everything they do. Thank you Starlight!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight gives these sick children a chance at "normal" events and things regular children do. My son enjoys every event we have been a part of.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am mother of a daughter with a Primary Immune Deficiency Disorder. Her first Great Escape was in May 2011 and we went to a Mother Daughter Princess Tea. My daughter spends a lot of her life in a hospital room to receive treatments that keep her alive. That in May of the Tea I will probably always remember as a mother. My daughter did not stop smiling the entire time. All the people there went above and beyond to make sure that my daughter and I were having a great time. My little princess that is 3 1/2 still talks about that day all the time. She created happy memories and had quality time with her mother. This day is absolutely priceless. Words cannot how thankful I am for the Great Escape Program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Jorden has Bilaterl Polymicrogyria. Starlight NW has allowed him to do things that he normally would not be able to do because of his condition and also because of the financial strain on our family. Starlight has allowed our family to enjoy events as a family. Whether it is events like going to see Elmo or Trick or suite for Halloween. These past two years have been really hard for my family as my wife has been dealing with many medical issues herself. This has made the financial strain even herder as I am the sole provider and had to take alot of time off to help take care of Jorden. So when christmas came around this last year we did not have much to make a Christmas for our four kids. Starlight helped out to make our Christmas better. We also had an unknown person who heard about our situation through somebody assocaited through Starlight sponsor us for Christmas. Starlight foundation has made it so much easier for us to enjoy ourselves and for Jorden to enjoy freindship and be as normal as he can be. Jorden has spent alot of time in the hospital and with the help of Erin Behen director for Starlight NW he has been able to have things to play with and not be bored with just me being in his room. It made his stays in the hospital easier for both of us.

Kim B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born with a life threatening immune deficiency. Our lives are not what one would consider "normal" in getting to do lots of activities outside of our home. One reason for this is purely medical, however, the other major constraint is financial. Starlight has given my son and our family many fun "great escapes" to participate in over the years. We have been able to attend the Aquarium, The Rangers baseball game, Six Flags Holiday in the Park, The Ice Show, the rodeo, parties, and most recently, we were able to attend a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu! My family has been very blessed to get to do these fun outings, as we never would have been able to do so if not for Starlight! My son has really enjoyed every Starlight function we have attended and we are very grateful for their organization!

Lisa G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

M y daughter Alexandria has retinoblastoma & lost her left eye to cancer. She LOVES going to the Broward Arts Center, in her words "to go to the theater" (yes, she is 3 years old).
Starlight has made sure that she can forget the MRI's EUA's and prosthetic eye appointments with the "theater". It is our special girl time to get dressed up & go to a show.
Thank you Starlight because I would not be able to afford this luxury with all of her other medical bills.

Board Member

Rating: 4

As a Board member and a volunteer with Starlight Canada, I have experienced first hand the emotion of joy for a group of kids when I joined them on a plane on the way to the North Pole.

Giving back is something that I enjoy doing all my life and in most cases I get more reward out of that the families we serve would know. We have fulfilled over 100 wishes in the past 10 years and delivered many fund centers to hospitals because of the generosity of many of our corporate sponsorships. this is the essence of Starlight Children's Foundation.

I continue to be amazed by the strength of many of the children and families that we serve. They are the reason I am involved and will continue to be a part of the Starlight Family in the US and in Canada.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Attending a Starlight event can be an eye-opening experience. Unless you have been involved directly on a day to day basis with a chronically ill child and family, it is hard to imagine the sacrifices every family member makes every day. No day is a given, no day has a set schedule. Starlight progams and Starbrightworld help the children and their families escape, for a few moments, the anxiety, stress and pain that they feel every day.