Great Escapes Renew Families’ Spirits
Starlight’s Great Escapes family activities program provides families with recreational opportunities and a chance to have fun together away from the hospital so they can regroup and return home with a renewed sense of strength and hope. In Arizona, on average up to 70 Starlight family members participate and enjoy fun-filled Great Escapes activities each month.
Highlights from some of our 2010 Starlight Great Escapes include:
Coyotes Game – January
Thanks to the continued support of the Phoenix Coyotes Charities, more than 50 airway and tracheotomy pediatric patients and family members from the Phoenix Children’s Hospital enjoyed a thrilling Phoenix Coyotes hockey game. Everyone enjoyed an exciting “win” from our hometown hockey team defeating the Minnesota Wild and their favorite game-time snacks. The Coyotes also sponsored a Fun Center mobile entertainment unit at the Arizona Burn Center at the Maricopa Medical Center. Go Coyotes!
Build-A-Bear Workshop – February
More than 38 Starlight children were thrilled to build, dress and accessorize their very own stuffed animals at our Build-A-Bear Workship Great Escape. Families were then treated to a yummy cinnamon roll and refreshment of their choice from Cinnabon. Said one family, “ Thank you so much! We had so much fun watching our kids so full of joy! We’ve been having a hard time with Isaiah, he has been sick a lot this winter so for him to be around others was good!! We always love to see you. You’re so full of joy it rubs off on us!”
Globetrotters – March
Thanks to the support of Jobing.com Arena, more than 80 lucky Starlight families were able to catch the iconic Harlem Globetrotters and their unique style of “tricky” basketball at a very special Great Escape. Families also enjoyed dinner at the arena.
Laser Quest - March
73 Starlight children and family members came out to Laser Quest to participate in a fast-paced game of hide and go seek. Taking on names like “Ninja,” each family member was able to play two games in an attempt to out-rank their fellow family members. It was a competitive day with mom’s trying to beat their son’s scores from one game to the next. After the sweat and smiles they all appreciated Papa John’s pizza soda and plenty of H20. Everyone walked away a winner!
Amazing Jakes – April
As always, Starlight families had an amazing time at Amazing Jakes with a pizza and pasta buffet, laser tag, goofy golf, bowling, bumper cars, go carts and many other favorites. Every family went home with smiles on their faces, full tummy’s and special keepsake prizes to remember the day.
Wild Life World Zoo & Aquarium – May
Before the weather got too warm, 70 Starlight children and family members took a Great Escape trip to the Wild Life World Zoo & Aquarium to enjoy Arizona’s largest collection of exotic animals. Families had the chance to feed the animals, learn about different species and get up close and personal with sharks, stingrays, water snakes, turtles and penguins at the new indoor aquarium.
Stars on Ice – May
Thanks to the generosity of the Jobing.com Arena, 50 Starlight children and family members were treated like stars at Stars on Ice. For one Starlight child, then night was particularly meaningful since a serious illness has left her wheelchair bound and ended her own ice skating aspirations. Her family said it was a bittersweet moment for her to the skilled skaters glide around the ice.
IBDU™ YouTube Channel
Starlight and the Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation have partnered to create an IBDU™ YouTube Channel that provides video stories related to Irritable Bowel Disease and coping skills.
The six candid videos are an extension to the IBDU website, and the older teens in the videos address things like:
- STRESS - Major stress can give you mood swings, fatigue, and decreased concentration and memory. It can also have physical impacts like changes in heart rate and blood pressure, weight gain, and a weakened immune system. It pays to make time to manage your stress level.
- SCHOOL - College can be stressful — learn simple stress management techniques that will help improve how you feel by changing your actions and thoughts.
- WORK - Because you have a medical condition that affects so much of your daily life, it helps to know your rights in the workplace, and to take all the steps you can to make sure you’re protected.
Visit www.youtube.com/IBDUwebsite to subscribe today and be notified when new videos are posted. You must have a YouTube or Google account to subscribe, but accounts are free!
Starbright World Gets an A+
Starbright World was recently reviewed by Common Sense Media, an organization that provides online information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a “choice and voice about the media they consume.”
We’re happy to report that Starbright World received rave reviews, including an A+ for its educational value and four stars for the site overall. Common Sense Media also provided a great summary of Starbright World’s message: “…one of support, solidarity, and strength . . . the site — and its members — enables kids facing health challenges to still be social, silly and fun.”
To see how Starbright World measured up in other categories, click here.