For over 40 years, Starlight has been delivering happiness to millions of sick kids at more than 800 hospitals and medical facilities across the country. Doing so, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of the brave kids who receive Starlight programs.
We are thrilled to announce our second class of Starlight Kid Ambassadors. These four Starlight Kids will represent our organization all year, sharing their stories and the impact that Starlight programs have had in their lives.
Favorite Activity: Chatting with her friends, playing Roblox, fuse bead art, & painting
Favorite Starlight program: Starlight VR
Hospital: DHR Health
Grace is an outgoing 11-year-old, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2021. Because she was diagnosed during the surge of COVID, she was often lonely and isolated, but Starlight Deliveries and Virtual Reality helped keep her busy. Plus, her amazing Certified Child Life Specialist Edith has inspired Grace so much, she wants to be a Child Life Specialist when she grows up!
In 2023, Grace hopes to ring the bell and declare she’s officially cancer free!
Location: New York
Favorite Activity: Writing, hanging out with friends, & watching Netflix
Favorite Starlight program: Starlight Gaming & VR
Hospital: Hospital for Special Surgery
Diagnosis: Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Josie is a caring 17-year-old that is passionate about advocating for people living with disabilities. As a person living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, her bones are very brittle and break easily, causing her to have many surgeries and hospital stays. Through all her own challenges, she has found ways to enjoy doing the things she loves, like playing basketball and showing compassion to those around her.
Josie’s goal for 2023 is to start college and begin her journey to becoming a journalist or an English teacher!
Favorite Activity: Going on walks outside in her stroller-wagon, and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Favorite Starlight program: Starlight Gowns &Starlight Radio Flyer Hero Wagons
Hospital: Children’s Hospital of Orange County
Diagnosis: Brain Tumor, Epilepsy, and Visual Impairment
Olivianna is a happy-go-lucky 5-year-old, who was diagnosed at 6 months old with a brain tumor. As a result of brain surgery, Olivianna also lives with epilepsy and visual impairment. While she is nonverbal, her smile says it all! Olivianna and her family love Starlight Gowns and she wears one almost every time she has to be in the hospital.
In 2023, Olivianna’s mom is hopeful she’ll learn to stand independently!
Favorite Activity: Learning about dinosaurs, going to the museum to learn more about them, and watching all the dinosaur movies!
Favorite Starlight program: Starlight Deliveries
Hospital: Nemours Children’s Hospital
Paul is a sweet 3-year-old that absolutely loves being a big brother to his little sister. After being hospitalized countless times because of breathing issues, Paul was diagnosed with asthma at 17 months old. His mom, Julie, is an incredible advocate for children will invisible chronic diseases and has seen firsthand the impact Starlight programs can have on seriously ill kids.
Paul is excited to start preschool in 2023, and Julie is hopeful he’ll make it a full year without any hospitalizations!
We are excited to spotlight all four children’s stories, and are thankful to Grace’s, Josie’s, Olivianna’s, and Paul’s families for allowing us to share the good, the bad, and the difficult times they experience having a child with a serious medical condition.
Starlight is grateful to be a part of their lives and that we can help deliver happiness to so many kids just like them.