Bringing Christmas wishes to kids in need

| December 18, 2013

Leading up to the festive season, the Starlight Children’s Foundation is working hard again to make wishes come true for hundreds of children battling a chronic or life-threatening illness. Louise Baxter asks everyone to ‘Join the Mission’ this Christmas.

As Christmas fast approaches, thousands of children around Australia are counting the sleeps until Christmas Day. At the same time, hundreds of seriously ill children around Australia are holding their own countdown until the day they are told their Starlight Wish will be granted.

This Christmas, Starlight Children’s Foundation is preparing to let 185 children know their Starlight Wish will be a reality.

While many people are aware of Starlight Wishes, few have experienced the incredible life-changing benefits this experience can have for a sick child, as well as their entire family.

A Starlight Wish is quite literally a dream come true for a child battling a chronic or life-threatening illness. It gives sick kids something positive to look forward to post the next round of treatment or surgery. The whole experience is designed to offer a sense of hope, by making the impossible possible.

It takes a dedicated team of people to grant a Starlight Wish, as each wish is unique. The process of granting a Wish begins when Starlight’s experienced team meet with the child and their family to help them decide on and design the best experience imaginable. This decision-making process is exciting for the child and best of all, it helps distract them from their day-to-day pain and illness.

When a child’s Starlight Wish is decided it gives them and their family something positive and it’s rare that a day goes by during treatment without the family mentioning their special Wish experience.

The experience of sharing a special, once-in-a-lifetime Starlight Wish not only lifts the spirits of the child, but brings the whole family together for a much-needed break from the relentless cycle of pain and trauma experienced throughout the course of the child’s illness.

These magical events can provide lasting memories for the child and their family, and help give the child the strength to face treatment. We have heard from many parents that their child’s Starlight Wish was the crucial turning point in their child’s recovery.

One Starlight child, six year old Maddy, was granted her unique Starlight Wish to travel to Australia Zoo where she was fortunate to meet her hero Bindi Irwin, an experience she still talks about today.

Maddy’s mum, Kristy, said the impact of being granted a Starlight Wish was life-changing for her daughter, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at age four.

This Christmas is an extra special one, as we are celebrating 25 years supporting ill Aussie kids and transforming young lives. Given that the average cost to fulfil a Starlight wish is $6,500 and Starlight receives no government funding, ongoing community support is essential for the future of our Wish Granting program.

To help Starlight continue to make these dreams come true, we are asking everyone to ‘Join the Missionthis Christmas to help us raise $1.2 million to grant 185 life-changing wishes for seriously ill kids and their families. Why not rally friends, family and colleagues to Form a Crew and fundraise to the cause today? To find out more, go to