When Kristy and David took their six-year-old daughter, Maddy, to the hospital after a minor trampoline accident they just thought it was a normal part of childhood.
Unfortunately the bump led to a blood test, which led them to discover that Maddy had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
“We were devastated. It was like a nightmare that I desperately wished I would wake up from,” recalls Kristy.
From that moment on their lives changed, Maddy was constantly in and out of hospital. Towards the end of her treatment Maddy discovered she could have a Starlight wish. She knew exactly what she wanted to do– meet her hero Bindi Irwin at Australia Zoo.
“I had so much fun,” Maddy says. “I was so excited when I met Bindi. I gave her a big hug and had a photo with her and got her autograph.”
Thankfully Maddy is in remission now, but she and her family will never forget what Starlight did for them.
“I can honestly say that Starlight played a big part in helping our family get through what we did,” says Kristy.
A Starlight Wish is quite literally a dream come true for a child battling a chronic or
life-threatening illness and these wishes can be a crucial turning point in helping these children to continue to fight on,” says Alyssa de Laurence of the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
“We see all kinds of wish requests, everything from travelling to the Gold Coast to visit Sea World, Wet ‘n Wild and Movie World, to dancing with the Australian Ballet company. We even had the simplest of wishes to visit the apple store – a request from a little boy with an interest in gadgets.”
The Starlight Children’s Foundation was established in 1988 and does not receive any Government Funding.
“So we truly value the amazing support Golden Casket provides us each year,” Alyssa says.
Glenda Manne, group social responsibility manager Tatts Group says it was a natural fit as a partner for the organisation.
“Golden Casket also supports the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Mater Foundation annually with a significant donation ($500,000 each) from Golden Casket proceeds which goes towards research, equipment and medical care.”
Research shows that seven out of 10 Starlight children go on to successfully fight their illness. Many parents claim the Starlight wish marked the turning point in their child’s recovery. Visit Starlight’s website