Starlight Intern Turned Starlight Mom – Starlight Fun Center helps soothe two-year-old daughter

Ten years ago, Gillian was an intern for Starlight Children’s Foundation in Atlanta. She helped organize summer programs at specialty camps for children battling cancer, heart disease or kidney disease. She spent her summer days with the kids and helped decorate the events put on for the campers. Gillian enjoyed it so much she interned for Starlight the following summer in New York City.

“It became an organization that I’ve kept close to my heart,” says Gillian.

Gillian went on to get her Master’s in Education and is now living in Illinois and a mother of two children. She was faced with a terrifying moment during a fireworks show on the 4th of July when she noticed her two-year-old daughter was struggling to breathe.

Teddie was born with various heart defects and has faced minor complications with asthma. July 4 was Teddie’s first emergency room experience and she was crying and screaming in fear as the doctors attempted to put in a nasal cannula to control her breathing.

Gillian attempted to soothe her daughter, but nothing seemed to work.

“All of a sudden a child life specialist rolled in a Starlight Fun Center and I just lost it,” says Gillian. “I cried for so many reasons, they must’ve thought I was crazy because my daughter was going to be fine, but seeing the Starlight sticker, it was a very full circle moment for me and I am so grateful for all you do.”

With the combination of Peppa Pig on the screen and the doctors able to get Teddie’s breathing under control, this scary experience became a memorable one for the whole family.

If you would like to help brighten the lives of seriously ill children like Teddie, you can donate today. Your gift combined with the gift of others helps turn pain, fear and stress into laughter, fun and joy – because a sick kid is still a kid at heart.

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Tara Millspaugh

Digital Media Manager

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