Starlight supporter Tony has always loved the outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, fishing, or just enjoying the weather in his hometown of San Diego, CA, he knows how important it is to get outside and have fun.
When Tony was only 12 years old, he was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes the immune system to attack the nerves. After being paralyzed for two weeks, he began rehabilitation at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. As a kid who loved adventure, this was a really difficult experience for Tony, but he found ways to have fun even when he was stuck in the hospital:
“I remember the best time of the day was spending time in the game room and playing Mario Kart on a Nintendo 64,” Tony said. “The game room was the only place where I was really able to interact and socialize with other children because we all had a pretty strict schedule for physical therapy.”
Although his illness has caused some long-term health restrictions, Tony is now a successful small business owner in San Diego! With the support of his business partners, Tony chooses to support a group of charities every year. This year, he chose a cause very close to his heart: Starlight Children’s Foundation. Tony’s business, Restoration Connection, donated a Starlight Nintendo Gaming station to Rady’s Children’s Hospital, so other kids facing serious illness or injury can experience the same escape that he loved so much while he was a patient there.
"To me, Starlight’s mission is brightening a child’s day even in the most difficult times,” Tony said, so when he learned that Starlight's Gaming stations offer portable and Covid-safe entertainment to kids in hospitals, he knew he wanted to bring one to Rady's. He hopes that the new Gaming station, will bring joy and happiness to the kids there, just like his Nintendo 64 did when he was only 12.
Support Your Local Hospital Today!
It's so easy to host a fundraiser to place Starlight Gaming stations, Virtual Reality headsets, and more at your local hospital. By creating an online fundraising page, you can easily share what Starlight’s mission means to you with your friends and family, and start raising money to bring these programs to hospitalized kids today.