Starlight Brightens Long Hospital Stay for 3-year-old Genesis

Genesis is a creative three-year-old with a lot of personality. She is battling leukemia and undergoing chemotherapy at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. When we met her, she had been in the hospital for two months.

Michaels Delivers Creativity and Imagination

Michaels Associate helping Genesis decorate her visor.

We first had the pleasure of meeting Genesis when our long-time partner, Michaels, delivered backpacks full of arts and crafts to the kids at LAC+USC. Michaels delivered nearly 30,000 of these backpacks to hospitalized kids across the nation.

Inside the Michaels packs are materials to decorate a visor. Genesis immediately began opening the stickers. She wore a beanie that said “princess” so it made sense that her visor was completely covered in crowns and castle stickers.

Genesis sat on the opposite side of the room, away from other kids, to keep her protected from any unwanted germs. She didn’t say a word the entire time she was working on her masterpiece, but she gave us the biggest smile when she finished.

Starlight Star Visit with Grammy Nominated Singer, Deborah Cox

One month later, we brought Starlight ambassador and singer, Deborah Cox, to visit LAC+USC and hand out Starlight Gowns.

Genesis and Deborah Cox play together with Play Doh.

This time, we found Genesis with her parents in the playroom, rolling Play-Doh on the table. She was using cookie cutters to make all sorts of fun shapes and she kept tossing balls of Doh at her dad from across the table. The only time Genesis put down the Play-Doh was when Deborah Cox began singing “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston to a young patient. Everyone was all smiles when she finished singing.

And, turns out: we had more to smile about!

“We got good news this morning. She is no longer vomiting and the chemotherapy seems to be working this time around,” Martin, Genesis’ dad said.

Martin is a soft-spoken man who looks lovingly at Genesis. He knows every little detail about his daughter’s diagnosis. He knows exactly what medicine she takes and how it affects her. He’s her biggest advocate.

Fun Plans for Outside the Hospital

One thing Martin couldn’t stop talking about is what the family will do when Genesis can leave the hospital.

“She loves going to the movies and coloring. I will take her on hikes with me,” Martin said.

That’s what he said he’s most excited for. A hike, followed by a movie with his daughter.

Even though only a month had passed, Genesis was starting to act like herself again. We gave her a Starlight Gown to brighten future hospital visits.

If you would like to help bring joy and comfort to kids like Genesis, you can donate today. Your gift combined with the gift of others helps turn pain, fear and stress into laughter, fun and joy – because sick kids are still kids.

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Tara Millspaugh

Digital Media Manager

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