Children battling cancer often spend countless hours, weeks, and sometimes months in hospitals receiving treatment, meaning they spend critical years of their youth separated from their family and friends and often miss out on many milestones of childhood. That’s where Starlight comes in.
Through fun and engaging programs, Starlight provides pediatric patients with moments of joy and unexpected fun during long hospital stays and intensive treatments. For both Kyrell and Henry, Starlight programs were there during their toughest moments.
“Starlight Gaming and the ability to connect to the outside world was his favorite thing. Kyrell was admitted to the hospital on several occasions, so the program truly made a difference in his journey. To see him continue to smile, laugh, and just enjoy playing video games with his friends and family was worth more than all the riches in the world to us.”
In September of 2021, Kyrell was officially declared cancer free. We recently caught up with his mother, Lovely, to find out how he’s doing.
How is Kyrell today?
“Kyrell is a freshman and would be proud to tell you, "I am doing normal things now!"
He is truly enjoying his teenage years. During the winter, he enjoyed learning how to snowboard, took swimming lessons, and tried out for the volleyball team at school. He has not held back - at 15 years old, he took his chances and applied for a summer job and was officially hired! He is determined to work hard, start saving to purchase his own car, and is now thinking about college. Ky has truly blossomed from his cancer days. He has become a well-rounded young man, who is still kind, generous, and happy.”
What has been the biggest change you’ve noticed in Kyrell since being declared cancer free?
“Ky was more than ready to start over again. As a matter of fact, he was prepared; throughout his journey, he manifested nothing but positive vibes. Day one of being officially declared cancer-free, Kyrell was a new kid. He dresses up, stays on top of his health, exercises, and socializes more. We are stronger, closer, and more resilient as a family, too.”
On January 7, 2020, Henry was diagnosed with B-cell leukemia and spent more than three weeks in the hospital. According to his mom Patricia, things happened so quickly and they hadn’t been prepared for Henry to be admitted to the hospital, so they didn’t have anything to help ease his anxiety. Starlight programs provided Henry with many moments of joy and distraction, just when he needed it most.
In May of 2022, Henry rang the bell and was officially declared cancer free. Here’s what Patricia had to say about his life after cancer.
How is Henry today?
“Henry is doing terrific! If you looked at him today, you would never know he was ever sick. He is so big and strong and about to graduate kindergarten! He has so much energy and is so smart. We are proud of him in every way.”
What changes have you seen in Henry in the last several months?
“He’s been able to get back to being a healthy kid and all that goes with that! He is not in any pain, so he is confident to doing anything he wants. And he’s always hungry! Henry has always loved food but when he was so sick it was hard to eat; between the nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting he lost a lot of weight. Now you have to share your food with him because he wants to try everything. He is so food adventurous.”
For patients like Henry and Kyrell, who went through some of the darkest days of their lives in the hospital, Starlight programs deliver happiness through moments of joy, inspiring their imaginations, stimulating their creativity, and empowering their spirits.
Your support delivers happiness to hospitalized kids like Henry & Kyrell across the nation.