Starlight Toy Deliveries Turn Pain Into Joy for Saadet

Meet Saadet

“Why am I here, but my friends are not?” Saadet would ask her parents. 

As Saadet’s parents sat in Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, they could hardly answer their daughter’s question without sadness falling down their cheeks in the form of tears. 

It was the holiday season, and her parents knew Saadet should be playing games with her friends, not undergoing medical treatments, enduring pokes and pains. This wasn’t how they envisioned spending the holidays. 

Saadet had been in the US for only six months when her family found out that she had leukemia, the most common childhood cancer. Since then, Saadet and her family have been on a two-year cancer medical journey.

“A two-year cancer medical journey for my child was incredibly challenging and emotional…We felt terrible.” – Nimet, Saadet’s mom

The warmth of the holidays were delivered by Starlight and its generous donors, who gifted Saadet and her family comfort and joy. 

Starlight Toy Deliveries helped Saadet direct her focus from pain from treatments to joy while playing. The toys also gave Saadet an outlet for her emotions, easing her fears and anxieties about her cancer treatments and staying in the hospital during the holidays. When Saadet got to play with Starlight Toy Deliveries, they helped her adapt to the hospital setting, bringing happiness to her experience.

“At Starlight, we recognize the impact that playing with toys can have on children in a hospital environment. Engaging in play not only allows a child to incorporate familiar elements from their daily lives, but it also serves as a valuable tool for distraction, education, and emotional support. All of this helps create an environment where children can focus on healing and recovery!” - Viktoria de Jong, Certified Child Life Specialist and Starlight Mission Delivery Coordinator.

When Saadet played with Starlight Toy Deliveries, her parents didn’t see their daughter’s pain – they saw their strong daughter, beaming and full of happiness. Saadet’s joy could only bring wide smiles to her parents’ faces.    

For Saadet and her family, Starlight programs made the holidays feel warmer and a little bit brighter.


For Saadet and her family, Starlight programs made the holidays feel warmer and a little bit brighter.  

There are hundreds of other children like Saadet, who face childhood cancer and will spend the holidays in a hospital this year.  

You can make a difference by ensuring every hospitalized child experiences the joy of the holidays through Starlight Toy Deliveries or Starlight Hospital Gowns.  

Give the greatest gift of all this holiday season – happiness to a hospitalized child!

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