Ivy and Noah


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Weaving their magic.

Last week, the day before Ivy needed to go to surgery

and when she was stable enough,

the Starlight Captains in our hospital organised  time for Ivy to come down to the Starlight Room.

They made sure that everything was okay with our nurses

and that there was little risk of infection

and then they pampered the small girl

and made her feel like the most important person in the world.

Painting fingernails and toenails

and faces

seems like  such a simple thing

but it means so much when you are small and isolated

and brings so much joy.

Ivy is always relaxed and happy when she is with them -

even on bad days they can always bring a smile to the girl.


The Captains are like a breakthrough of sunshine on cloudy days

with their amazing energy

and kindness towards all of the children who frequent our hospital here.

I will always be thankful for them and for Starlight.

This year the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia is celebrating 25 years of transforming the experience of hospitalisation and treatment for seriously ill children across Australia.

It was founded in 1988 and has become such an integral part of care for children who are struggling with illness.

Starlight have been such a big part of our lives since the very beginning of our journey.

The Captains especially have always been there.

They symbolise happiness and laughter for Ivy and  for our other kids too.

Starlight represent time out from the seriousness of life with a sick child

and they represent hope.

Hope for Ivy

and for me.

That’s kind of a big deal when a lot of  the time things feel out of control

and a little helpless.

Ivy and our family have been invited to be ambassadors for Starlight as they commemorate this year

and we are truly honoured and humbled

and a bit proud as well

but most of all we hope to be able to give back just a little of all that we have been given.

If you are a supporter of Starlight (and thank you if you are), you might see Ivy’s face around the traps

as we share Ivy’s story, her wish and how important a foundation like this is for families like ours.

I’m looking forward to writing about some of our adventures here too

and hope that in some small way we can help to celebrate the wonderful Captains,

the volunteers

and the people who work tirelessly

weaving their magic into the world of seriously ill children everywhere.


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16 Responses to “Weaving their magic.”

  • Veronica (703 comments.):

    These photos just make me smile so much.

  • Kathy (88 comments.):

    Oh how lovely. Tiff, do you have details of where one can sign up to be a regular Starlight supporter? The kids and I would really love to do this in honour of Ivy and my own brother.

  • Tiff (118 comments.):

    Kathy – here is a link on all of the ways that you can help.


    Thank you for wanting to xx

  • Sue:

    Such a shame they don’t have a Starlight group of captains that can pamper the parents for just a short while too, especially while their children are being cheered up. Something as simple as a back massage, foot massage, paint the nails, even just a really nice cappuccino! Something to relieve the pressures you’re feeling too.

  • Lynda M Otvos (3 comments.):

    What a wonderful way to help sick kids and their families. I have never heard of anything so cool here in the usa–wondering how we can organize something along this line here for Oakland Children’s Hosp….

    May Ivy’s health stabilize and send you home to the welcoming arms of the rest of the family.

  • Mum:

    Bravo, Starlight captains! :-)

    So good to see that these wonderful volunteers can bring Ivy so much happiness in her isolation and otherwise unhappy place. They certainly do weave a special kind of magic for Ivy and she and the family will undoubtedly be wonderful ambassadors for such a worthwhile organisation. xoxo

  • rachel:

    The ‘cappo’s’ are valued more than they will ever realise. The family away from home that brightens our dreary days!
    They will brush it off and say its all in a days work…. but it is truly making a massive difference in our lives and i couldnt imagine them not being there!
    Thank you Starlight Captains….. especially the Cappos at John Hunter.. they rock!

  • Fiona (115 comments.):

    amazing energetic people

  • Immy:

    Starlight is such a wonderful cause.
    The way the captains can bring Ivy out of her shell, encourage her to spread her wings is so beautiful to watch. If I could be a fly on the wall every time they convinced a sick little girl she was a princess, or a hurt little boy that he is bravest of them all, it would be a source of constant joy. If I could bottle the magic they bring into the room with them every time, I don’t think I would ever lack a reason to smile. They always seem to have the right timing, swooping in just when things are falling apart, putting everything back together with their glitter glue.
    I don’t think I could ever thank Starlight enough for everything they do for Ivy and you. For all of us.

    And I don’t think they could have picked a more beautiful face to be an ambassador, or a more beautiful writer.

  • Eliza (3 comments.):

    As a former volunteer for Starlight I know how much work goes into making kids and their families smile, but it is 10000% worth it. Ivy will be a great ambassador for a great cause. Loving these photos, could your precious cherub look any prouder? xo

  • Carol:

    I used to work at Starlight and by sharing your story and photos you are helping to raise so much money to help keep the Starlight Express Rooms and Captain Starlights there for the kids. You are truly fabulous!

    And Immy what you wrote is breathtaking – I think if you would be happy to share that with Starlight, they would love to share it with a lot more donors to help them understand the real essence of the Captains and how important they are for the kids and families.

    It seems beautiful writing runs in the family.

  • jeanie (226 comments.):

    Truly beautiful people who deserve celebrating for all they do to make Ivy – and all the Ivys out there – feel joy in stressful times.

  • Meg:

    So beautiful, Im teary looking at how happy Ivy is and how genuinely happy the starlight crew are. It must just mean so much to all the families like you, who want their child to be well and happy. To get the latter even just for a short while, must make the load just a little lighter for that time. I would love to help, I’ll follow the link above… xxxxx

  • Dianne (35 comments.):

    What wonderful pictures of Ivy, she is so precious and the fantastic Starlight team.

  • BW aka Barbara from Boston:

    Lovely pictures and a wonderful crew!

  • Kathy (88 comments.):

    Aaaaand done. Monthly donation set up :-)

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