Starlight Children's foundation has been so great to our family. My Daughter has a spinal cord defect and has had to have numerous back and leg surgeries. She was also diagnosed with Leukemia. When Katie was inpatient for days on end, she was entertained by a game system provided by starlight. The playroom was loaded with board games that were donated by starlight. On days that were miserable playing games would distract her from her pain and help her in healing faster. We were hooked up with starlight through the child life specialist at our hospital. After signing up our whole family was invited to participate in events. These events were so much fun for the kids, they made them all feel special. They were around other kids and their families that have gone through different kinds of health trials and these kids all connect and feel a great bond. Without Starlight this would not be possible. One of my daughters favorite events when they treated a bunch of girls and their mothers to a day spa. The girls were treated like queens for the day and it didn't matter if you were in a wheel chair or you were bald all the kids were treated to a special day. They even rode in a limo that day! My daughter will have those special memories forever. My family enjoys getting to do Starlight events, and it really makes my kids feel special. These are events that with all the stress and medical bills my kids would not be able to do. My kids are getting a great opportunity and Starlight makes this possible and I am truly thankful!
Review from Guidestar
This organization is a blessing for many children dealing with struggles that they should not be faced with at their young age. It has been a chance to participate in outing and experiences like other children their age. Its an escape from constant doctor visits and therapies and painful tests. Starlight has meant the world to my family it gave us a hours of forgetting about our troubles.
I think everyone wants to see their children happy whether they have an illness or not. Too often, the burden of caring for a sick child can break up a family unit. I love volunteering for the monthly "Great Escape" outings with the Starlight Children's Foundation, because it just lets the whole family be happy together AND...that makes me happy too! The recent CPK sponsored Kids Camp for Starlight families did not disapoint. From the moment the families entered you could see the excitement on their smiling faces. Everyone bonded from 3 year olds to 60 year olds - family members and volunteers alike. I can't tell you how many family members came up to me to say thank-you! The genuine caring that the Starlight Children's Foundation staff and volunteers project is a wonder to behold. Just makes you want to keep volunteering.
I first learned of Starlight through my job working with children who have special medical needs. I referred a family to Starlight and after hearing what a great experience they had, I immediately began referring all of my eligible families! Even knowing of about the Great Escapes Program for the last couple of years, I had no idea about Starlight's other programs until I began to read more about the orginazation through Facebook. This organization is truly amazing and provides much needed services. Everyday there is a child who is made to feel different due to their special need and it is so wonderful to hear their stories about their Starlight adventures and see the smiles on their faces! I just wish all of my families were eligible to participate! Keep up the great work, Starlight!
I have been involved for over 8 years as both a fund raiser and volunteer. During that time I have been involved in the placement of "Fun Centers throughout south Florida. The children in these hospitals upon being introduced to these centers, smile ear to ear and immeadiately become emersed in the games on the center. I leave those hospitals knowing that the children I met and the hundreds that will follow have for the moment left their illness behind and just enjoyed being a kid, with worries gone for that time.
Starlight is a wonderful organization that is multifunctional. Not only do they put fun centers in childrens hospitals, put up safe chat rooms for teenagers to talk to others and feel safe and connected to others that have special needs or life threatening illnesses, but they put together the most amazing activities that families can do together; most activities we couldn't afford to do on our own. To top it all off; they bring in their starpower ambassadors to bring smiles to the kids faces. Our 3 year old has Spina Bifida, is in a wheelchair and has faced many hospitalizations and surgeries in his little life. This has been very challenging for my other four boys. Starlight has allowed us all to have fun and forget the reality of Kumaka's issues for just a little while. We have met a now dear family friend from Starlight; one of the starpower ambassadors who truly cares about our family and the other families she comes in contact with. Not only do we see her at some of the events, but she checks in with us to see how Kumaka is doing as well as the other boys. We have felt an outpouring of love and joy from being a part of this organization and hope to one day be able to be on the giving end. We can truly say that Starlight has changed our lives.
my son Jack, now age 10, was diagnosed with late stage x-ALD (remember the movie Lorenzo's Oil?) in august 2008 after months of symptoms. we took him to U of Minnesota for a bone marrow transplant after flying in his older brother from his Marine Corps base. despite the successful transplant, he still went blind, deaf, lost all abilities except to breathe. HOWEVER he has regained most of that now with time and therapy and enjoys the starlight events where every effort is made for children with special needs. we go to the california pizza kitchen event every year, today we are going to it. we spent 7 months in minnesota and went to starlight events there as well. thank you for giving us this opportunity. we tell him its "camp" and it brightens his day alot. the staff who work these events are amazingly kind and patient and thougtful.
My family recently just began with Starlight Great Escapes program. My yopungest is 9 and has been dealing with a rare chronic disease since birth. We must travelk to National Institute of Health evey 3-5 months for treatment. She also has many appts with doc's every month. She also misses more school than she is at. She has the a vocabulary that no child should ever have to have. BUT when we are at a Starlight event ITS OK! SHe has been able to meet other kids also delaing with to many docs etc! We recently went to the CPKIDS Camp, it is an afternoon of arts&crafts;, lunch, field day like activites etc. At one point me and several other moms looked around and one mom said 'look at them all playing together' THATS WHAT MAKE STARLIGHT SO SPECIAL! THE KIDS FEEL SAFE AND "NORMAL" Our lives are surronded by medical and struggles, STARLIGHT gives us LIFE AND JOY!