Written by: Adam Garone, Starlight CEO
As National Cancer Survivor Month comes to an end, I reflect on what our mission means to me.
A cancer diagnosis changes everything for a family. My niece Charlie, who is the same age as my daughter, quickly went from being a happy, healthy three-year-old kid to being diagnosed with brain cancer. Charlie spent seven months at the hospital while she underwent brain surgery and aggressive chemotherapy, with brief periods at home to recover and build up her strength before the next round of chemo. Life was suddenly about survival, getting through the next procedure and the next day.
As the CEO of Starlight, I’ve visited hospitals across the country to meet children and their families and witness the profound impact of our programs. When childhood cancer patients have been in the same hospital room for days or have just completed an intensive surgery, a smile or laughter can make all the difference. But even after treatment ends, kids and families deal with appointments and tests that come with fear and anxiety.
Seeing the impact of Starlight’s mission firsthand reiterates how important our programs are for kids like Charlie.
Charlie is now five years old and receives an MRI every three months to see if the cancer has returned. Our family lives in these three-month cycles of celebrating a clear MRI, enjoying a few weeks of normalcy, and anxiously counting down to the next test, all while fearing the worst every time she experiences a fever or cough. As Charlie continues her cancer journey as a survivor, she finds comfort in special things like her favorite Starlight Hospital Gown. The smile it brings to her face inspires my commitment to helping Starlight reach every single hospitalized child who needs us.
Charlie’s journey continues, and Starlight will be there to help her every step of the way. Your gift today ensures that we can offer this support to all childhood cancer patients and survivors, no matter where they are in their cancer journey.
Thank you for being such an incredible supporter of Starlight. We couldn't do this important work without you.
Adam Garone, CEO