Starlight Children’s Foundation Donation

Sunbank Solar are very proud to have partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation this year to take our vision of helping customers to do more with their solar to new heights. 

In 2018, Sunbank Solar set the very high goal of raising $25,000 to power the Starlight Children’s Foundation Express Room, with $15 from every Tesla Powerwall 2 that we install. The Starlight Express Room is a haven for seriously ill children and their families to break away from needles, chemotherapy, sterile environments and doctors to an environment bursting at the seams with craft, interactive games, music and joy. This is a hospital away from the hospital where children can forget about being sick and get down to the serious business of being a kid and having copious amounts of fun!

surpassing our initial goal and donating $34,072.95 to the cause! This will support up to 820 seriously-ill children …

Recently, Sunbank Solar had the opportunity to present the Starlight Children’s Foundation with our incredible contribution, surpassing our initial goal and donating $34,072.95 to the cause! This will support up to 820 seriously-ill children access the Starlight Express Room!

Sunbank Solar presenting the Starlight Children’s Foundation with donation.

We are very glad to have such an outstanding contribution to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The work that the Starlight Children’s Foundation is essential for every family with young children suffering through serious illness. Starlight Children’s Foundation helps families through their Starlight Express Room, Captain Starlight appearances at the hospital and by hospital beds, by granting wishes of seriously-ill children and many other ways. Jasmine was admitted to the hospital when her mum noticed a change in her health, and spent some time at the Starlight Express Room.

 

Here’s Jasmine’s Story  

Seven-year-old Jasmine can be a little shy at first, but once she opens up she’s a lot of fun – she loves dancing, arts and crafts, and is a keen animal lover. She also loves to get outside and play sport whenever she can, and is full of energy. That’s why her mum, Vanessa, knew something wasn’t right when she had a cold that lingered much longer than normal. Jasmine was pale and lethargic, not herself at all.

Vanessa took Jasmine to the doctor, who recommended some blood tests – just in case. It’s what any parent would do, never suspecting anything would be seriously wrong. It was the day before Mother’s Day when Jasmine had the blood tests. Mother’s Day will never be the same again for this family.

The test results came back, and within hours their whole lives had been turned upside down. Jasmine had leukaemia. “At that stage I didn’t realise that there couldn’t be any treatment done in Canberra,” said Vanessa. “And so one minute they’re saying ‘I think your daughter has leukaemia’, and the next minute they’re saying ‘We’re going to get you on a helicopter straight to Sydney’.”

At the beginning, Jasmine didn’t understand what was going to happen. When they arrived at the hospital, she saw some other children who had lost their hair as a result of their chemotherapy. Vanessa remembers her saying, “Oh, Mum, they’re so much sicker than me. At least I’m not going to lose my hair or anything.” It broke Vanessa’s heart to have to explain that the treatment she would be going through would, in fact, make her lose her hair, and much more.

Ten months of intensive chemotherapy started straight away. Vanessa said they never would have gotten through Jasmine’s treatment without Starlight. “Jasmine’s reward after having her chemo was to be able to go up to the Starlight Express Room at the end of the day,” she said. “And if she was too sick, I could call the Captain Starlights and they’d come down to the ward with some activities for her. It worked really well.”

We’ve been through a really horrible, tough time, but Starlight made everything a lot easier. The Captains are able to make the children feel normal again, but also very special. We’ll always be grateful. 

Jasmine loves playing in the Starlight Express Room with the friends she’s made there. She’s spent hours and hours playing princesses with the Captain Starlights, laughing and being silly just the way she should. Because in the Starlight Express Room, she isn’t “Jasmine who has cancer”, she’s “Princess Jasmine”! She isn’t defined by her illness – she’s just a normal kid having fun, and she can forget all about doctors and tests and being in hospital.

We’ve been through a really horrible, tough time, but Starlight made everything a lot easier. The Captains are able to make the children feel normal again, but also very special. We’ll always be grateful.

The Starlight Express Room also played an important role in making Jasmine’s treatment more manageable and improving her overall hospital experience. It was a wonderful distraction that meant she was able to tolerate the stress and pain of her chemotherapy. In fact, it’s still a bargaining chip that Vanessa can use when Jasmine needs to go back to Sydney for tests and check-ups, even though, thankfully, she is now in remission.

“We’ve been through a really horrible, tough time,” said Vanessa, “but Starlight made everything a lot easier. The Captains are able to make the children feel normal again, but also very special. We’ll always be grateful.”