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ONE WISH – ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES

At a time when there is perhaps little or nothing to look forward to, Starlight grants a seriously or terminally ill child their greatest wish, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and creating happy memories for the whole family to share and cherish, whatever the future holds.


Each wish is different because young minds are so imaginative and creative. Search the wishes and dreams, and you'll see... whatever the wish, Starlight makes it happen!


Happily some 70% of Starlight children go on to get better and often doctors and parents say that the excitement and anticipation of the wish was the turning point.


Soldier Dominic stands to attention

Army-mad Dominic was four years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. It was the start of three-and-a-half long years of treatment.


Starlight made sure that Dominic, his brother Alex, and his mum and dad all had a wonderful day experiencing his wish to be a soldier.


Dominic’s mum Suzanne said: “Within a few minutes of arriving at the barracks, the boys disappeared before reappearing dressed head to toe in proper army kit! They even had their berets on. It was a brilliant start to an incredible day riding in tanks (the boys even drove one) and army trucks. They also helped mechanics to fix a broken tank… well, Alex tried to push this enormous broken tank — we were all laughing so much!


“One of their favourite bits was eating in the main canteen with all the soldiers. It felt so special to be part of the team.” She added: “Without doubt, Starlight made all of Dominic’s dreams come to life.”


Nose to nose with orca whales!

Daniel has osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. He hopes one day to become a marine biologist, and his wish to be an orca keeper reflects his love of the sea and the creatures that inhabit it.


Daniel underwent nine months of intensive treatment and extensive surgery on his arm before the cancer went into remission.


As soon as he was well enough, Starlight organised for him and his family to visit Sea World, where they had the opportunity to enjoy the show before going behind the scenes to meet the keepers, trainers and of course the stars of the show, the orcas.


Daniel said: “I never thought Starlight would be able to grant such a big wish; it was everything I dreamed of and more. My passion for marine biology was made real by being able to see how the orca whales acted first hand and being able to interact with them. I really hope this isn’t the last time I am able to work with these amazing creatures.”


Daniel’s mum Lynda added: “Daniel couldn’t have asked for anything more — it was a truly magical experience.”


STARLIGHT'S PLAY IN HOSPITAL

Starlight’s Play in Hospital Week success!


Last week, with the help of NAHPS and Starlight, play staff celebrated play and demonstrated its importance in the treatment of children by organising information stands, workshops and parties in hospitals and hospices across the country.


“On behalf of the families, staff and children at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, I would like to thank everyone at Starlight for all the effort you have put into supporting the Play Service here and others around the country. The resources you supplied have been fantastic and the feedback from the families has been so positive. Our party went really well and the goodie bags were a huge hit. Last week we had two fantastic shows from your excellent panto team. Please pass on our thanks and heart felt appreciation for all the work you do at Starlight, organizing this week must have been extremely challenging for everyone involved.” Heather Beattie, Play Specialist, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.


“We had a fantastic week, with some special visiters included a magician, balloon maker, peppa pig and mickey mouse. Every child seen in hospital that week recieved a balloon and a goody bag. We all had so much fun, Patients, Parents and Staff. All of this wouldnt of been possible without the help of starlight. So I would like to take this oppertunity to say a big Thank you to all the staff at starlight for all their hard work.” Ann Mckinnon, Play Specialist, Medway Maritime Hospital.


GoCharitable.com In The Press


Over the last few weeks of August some of you in the North-West of England may have noticed that we we're featured in the Manchester Evening News.

This is great press for both GoCharitable and Starlight Childrens Foundation. Click here to see our feature.








ROBERT’S DREAM COMPUTER FROM STARLIGHT WILL HELP HIM ACHIEVE HIS GOALS

Sixteen old Robert Crowe from Andover in Hampshire has had his wish for an Apple MacBook Pro granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.


In July 2009, Robert was diagnosed with a malignant bone tumour, which is a form of cancer called Osteosarcoma. At just fourteen years of age, the news came as a huge shock to Robert and although it took him and his family some time to come to terms with his condition, Robert’s mum Carolyn says that he has learnt to cope with it very well.


To battle such a serious condition, Robert began a grueling programme of chemotherapy, which was to include three separate cycles of intensive treatment. He also required an operation and, beforehand, was told that the procedure could result in him losing a leg. Although this was a further blow to the teenager, he showed immense bravery and told his parents, “If I do loose my leg, so be it. I would rather loose my leg than my life.” Fortunately, the operation was successful but Robert will still need an operation to help him to walk again when he has completed his treatment.


During his illness, Robert has spent a lot of time in Southampton General Hospital and, as a result, has made many friends with other patients and the medical staff on the hospital’s Piam Brown Ward. The staff at the hospital referred him to Starlight for a once-in-a-lifetime wish and, after much consideration, Robert, who is very keen on computers, asked the charity for an Apple MacBook Pro.


With the new ‘must-have’ computer, which Starlight delivered to the teenager with a variety of accessories, Robert has been able to keep in touch with his friends while he is undergoing treatment in hospital. It also means that, once he has finished his treatment, he will be able to use his MacBook to fulfill his goals of completing his exams at school and undertaking some kind of IT work.


Robert arranged a giant Easter Egg hunt in his local area in aid of Starlight and is keenly looking for ways to support the charity in addition to the Piam Brown Ward at Southampton General Hospital, which has already received £12,000 from the courageous teenager’s fundraising.


He said, “I would like to thank Starlight once again. It is an amazing charity that makes a lot of children very happy when they are seriously ill.”

IT’S LIFT OFF FOR SAM TOMLINSON

Ten-year-old Sam Tomlinson from Aylsham near Norwich has had his dearest wish to visit the Kennedy Space Centre granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.


Just before Christmas in 2009, Sam was diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, which is a form of cancer that has previously been unheard of in children in the UK. The tumour in his mouth was removed with a procedure called a Maxillectomy in January 2010 and then Sam underwent a radical course of radiotherapy.


Sam’s mother Sarah told Starlight, “Sam was extremely brave throughout all his treatment. He never complained or made a big fuss. He endured six weeks of radiotherapy, staying away from home during the week. He did this all with a smile on his face and the way he has coped has been a source of inspiration to us.”


The youngster, who says he likes building lego sets, drawing cartoons and riding his bike with his father, was referred to Starlight for a once-in-a-lifetime wish by CLIC Sargent. He said that his greatest wish would be to visit the Kennedy Space Centre in Orlando, Florida with his parents Sarah and Mark.


In May, Sam and his family travelled to Orlando where they stayed for a very special week-long visit, which included a trip to the Kennedy Space Centre. The exclusive tour included lunch with a real astronaut and a ride in a Space Shuttle Simulator, which Sam later described as “like really being in space”.


In May, Sam and his family travelled to Orlando where they stayed for a very special week-long visit, which included a trip to the Kennedy Space Centre. The exclusive tour included lunch with a real astronaut and a ride in a Space Shuttle Simulator, which Sam later described as “like really being in space”.


Starlight had also arranged for the family to have a hire car so that Sam and his parents were able to complete their Florida adventure with a trip to Universal Studios, where they sampled all the excitements of the theme park, and Discovery Cove, where the three of them were able to together swim with dolphins.

On their return from the trip, Sarah said, “Thank you so much Starlight for arranging our wonderful holiday to Florida and the Kennedy Space Centre. Our trip was so interesting and the added astronaut lunch and tour made it even more so. Sam absolutely loved all of it and it was a real trip-of-a-lifetime for him. We will be forever grateful to Starlight and will never forget it.”

Sam added, “I really loved this trip and will remember it forever and ever and ever. Thank you.”

BILLY SCORES A BIG SURPRISE

A CLEVEDON teenager who battled cancer has realised a lifelong dream – to meet football star Wayne Rooney. Fifteen-year-old Billy Curnock was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic immune system, just over a year ago.


After months of gruelling chemotherapy and hospital visits he is now returning back to health. It was his love of football – and his favourite team Manchester United – that got him through his time in hospital. He spends all his time watching matches with his brother and loves to see his hero, Wayne Rooney, play.


When the Starlight Children’s' Foundation, a national charity which grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes to sick children, heard of Billy's courageous fight, it stepped in to organise a special surprise. The charity arranged for Billy to be allowed special access to the filming of the final episode of Street Striker, which is hosted by Wayne Rooney.


The programme sees young football talents pit their skills against each other in various football tasks to battle it out to become Wayne's chosen number one.


Billy is a fan of the programme and so it was a very special treat to see it being filmed. He was given a VIP tour of the set and met the finalists and was taken for a personal meeting with Wayne.


Billy said: "It was the best two days of my life." Wayne described Billy as "inspirational". Wayne said: "It is always great to meet young football supporters and it was a real pleasure to meet Billy and help grant his Starlight wish. He has clearly been very brave during an extremely tough time and he is a very inspirational young lad."


Starlight Children’s' Foundation brightens the lives of sick children through wishes for seriously and terminally ill children. Starlight also provides entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK as well as organising special outings.

ABBI BECOMES A FASHION MODEL

A once in a lifetime wish granted to a Wincham girl saw her pampered, treated to a lavish shopping spree and transformed into a model for a very special day.


Brave Abbi Banks, aged 14, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a life-threatening form of cancer, in March 2009.


The Rudheath High School pupil then endured courses of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant on her 13th birthday, in October 2009.

MAX-LEE PHIPPS AND HIS FERRARI EXPERIENCE

Millions of television viewers will share the moment that a brave teen’s dream became a real once in a lifetime adventure. Eaton Bray youth Max-Lee Phipps, 16, who has an incurable illness, will feature in a moving Channel 5 series.


Viewers will see car fan Max enjoy the ride of his life at the Silverstone track in a Ferrari California with champion driver Jason Plato at the wheel.


The Gazette told last year of how Max, of Totternhoe Toad, was thrilled by the daring day arranged by the Starlight Children’s Foundation.







HANNAH’S CHRISTMAS DREAM COME TRUE

Six-year-old Hannah Archibald has just returned from a trip of a lifetime – visiting Santa in Lapland. Hanna, who has Sturge-Webster syndrome, which caused severe epilepsy in the first three years of her life, met Father Christmas while with mum Donna, dad Mark and big brother Jack. The trip was organised by children’s charity Starlight, which helps grant wishes to seriously and terminally ill children.


For Hannah, it was a trip of a lifetime and, with just a few days to go before Christmas, the unique opportunity to give Santa her Christmas list in person.








GARY AND HIS TOY STORY WISH

Gary from Manchester was diagnosed at three years old with testicular rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer. He has to undergo an intense chemotherapy regime, finally finishing treatment in August this year.


Gary, known as Gazza at home, loves the Disney Toy Story films and has the Toy Story figure toys which he never tires of playing with. Gazza's wish is to go to Disneyland Paris and meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody. Gazza's mother told Starlight: "To have a wish would mean so much to us as a family, after the worst year ever imaginable.


It's so nice to know that there are other people who care and understand and want to do something special for Gazza."