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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Daniel was born at 32 Â½ 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
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!!
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.
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!