StarPower Ambassador Allen Alvarado's Story
I’m proud to be a representative of StarPower and a kid who learned first-hand how much Starlight’s programs can help when you’re in the hospital.
Last March (2007), I became a StarPower Ambassador and had the chance to work with my fellow Ambassadors to encourage other young people to give back by helping Starlight families. But, it sure didn’t seem like work. Instead, we got to meet a lot of the families and other kids at a bunch of really fun Great Escapes activities like bowling and Dodger clinics.
Of course, when I was talking with Starlight kids about what it was like to live with a serious illness or injury, I never in a million years imagined I’d soon be in a hospital bed and that Starlight would be there for me.
Last November, my dad and I got hit by a car when we were crossing the street. I was thrown 40 feet in the air, and rushed to the hospital with a brain injury.
I couldn’t talk or move much at all for several days. I just didn’t feel up to doing anything at all. But, my dad says everything changed when the nurses brought in a Fun Center. He says that’s when I smiled for the first time. And I know why! Playing games made me forget for a little while about the pain.
I couldn’t control the joystick by myself at first, but the nurses helped me and it got easier. I even got to use the Fun Center during my physical therapy.
I was in the hospital for almost a month – believe me, it was scary for me and my parents. The days seemed to go on forever! Except when I got to play on the Fun Center. Then those hours just whizzed by.
Now I know what it’s like to have a serious injury, and being a StarPower Ambassador means even more to me than ever. I want to help other kids the way Starlight helped me.