Written by: Dr. Cara Natterson, Board Chair
As a pediatrician, health educator, and mom, I have spent my life advocating for children. In the hospital and the office, and certainly under my own roof at home, that advocacy takes a local, one-on-one approach. But when I write and teach, the message is amplified. There is little that can compare to the feeling of impacting kids’ lives in each of these different ways.
My work with Starlight is the culmination of all of these: Starlight’s programs bring comfort, distraction, creativity and most of all happiness to individual kids in hospitals across the country and this, by extension, has a ripple effect on the people around them, the people who care for them, and even the larger world. It is a privilege to be part of this embodiment of advocacy.
As Starlight has grown over the past three and a half decades, its reach has never been greater. Neither has its need. Anyone who has ever spent time in a hospital knows how isolated, anxiety-provoking – even scary – the experience can feel. Starlight’s impact translates into improved experiences across the board: for patients, their families, health care providers, support staff, hospitals and health systems. By leveraging technology and entertainment to deliver happiness – particularly in our two newest programs, Starlight Gowns and Starlight Virtual Reality – we focus our energies where and when seriously ill kids need them.
The landscape of health care will certainly continue to evolve, as will the needs of sick children, but Starlight will always stay true to its mission of delivering happiness. Along with everyone at Starlight, I invite you to join us on our quest to provide every seriously ill child with a chance to enjoy the experience of being a kid... because sick kids are kids, too.