Starlight Alumni Takes Us Back to Our Early Years

Starlight is celebrating 40 years of delivering happiness to seriously ill kids and their families. Through the past 40 years, we’ve worked with kids of all ages and backgrounds from all across the country, like Starlight Kid alumna, Marisa. 

Marisa was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer and treated at Hackensack Medical Center in New Jersey. In the early ’90s, Starlight’s primary focus was delivering happiness through wish-granting. While going through her cancer treatment, Marisa’s social worker told her about how Starlight grants wishes to kids with serious illnesses, and that her team at the hospital wanted to nominate Marisa to receive a wish. Marisa remembers that it gave her something other than her treatment to focus on and something to look forward to. 

Although Marisa leaned towards wishing to meet one of her favorite actors, she wanted to take advantage of this unique opportunity to ask for a much-needed resource — a computer. As a sophomore in college, she knew that a computer could be an invaluable tool throughout her studies! 

While Starlight’s programs have evolved since our wish-granting days, we still know that a simple moment of happiness can bring emotional healing to sick kids. We know that the joy a child feels while receiving a toy from Starlight Deliveries or the smile that spreads across their face as they see the Starlight Gaming Station being rolled into their room makes a difference. These moments matter.  

Starlight programs will always aim to bring these moments to sick kids during their most challenging moments. You can join us in celebrating the evolving history of Starlight programs by donating $40 to receive a limited-edition Starlight 40th Anniversary Pin.  

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