Local Canowindra ladies Kim Nicolaides Roberts and Rhonda Burnett are both taking part in this year’s Starlight Foundation Super Swim Challenge. Kim is aiming to raise $3,000 by swimming 35kms in 30 days and Rhonda is aiming to raise $1,000 by swimming 30kms in 30 days.
As a retired nurse and community member, Rhonda has always been passionate about the health of children and their families and believes that the Starlight Foundation helps families practically, mentally and socially during the tough times.
“My precious goddaughter passed away at age 10 before her wish was granted, this was in the early days of the Starlight Foundation. I would not like another child and family to experience this due to a lack of funds,” said Rhonda.
Kim’s son James was 3 when he was in the ICU and the Starlight team helped sister Felicity with distractions and other fun things instead of watching her brother fade and nearly die on quite a few occasions.
“It allowed us and family to deal with James and know she was safe and happy,” said Kim.
James has since still had many visits to hospital and many surgery’s where the Starlight Captains have helped with pain management and laughter instead of tears.
“Having somewhere that’s fun, interactive and relaxing for both child and parent is sometimes a life saver for the parents not just the kids,” said Kim.
Another local family who have been touched by the Starlight Foundation is the Wild family. When Ellie was just three years old she was unexpectedly and heartbreakingly diagnosed with Leukaemia and within days was admitted to Westmead Children’s Hospital.
“I first ran into a Starlight Captain in the hallway the day after Ellie was admitted into hospital. They gave me a card and told me to call them anytime Ellie was in need of some cheering up or company,” said Rachelle Wild.
Ellie was lucky enough to have a Starlight wish granted to her, she chose to fly like a fairy with her cousin Isla and to have a fairy party with her friends.
“As parents, we will never be able to thank the Starlight Foundation enough for the way that Ellie smiled on her wish day. It was the happiest day for us all,” said Rachelle.