Starlight Children’s Foundation was founded 25 years ago by actress Emma Samms and her cousin, Peter Samuelson, to grant the once-in-a-lifetime wishes of children with serious and terminal illnesses in the U.K. In its first year, it granted just four wishes. Now, the charity’s dedicated wish granting team is working on 1,000 wishes at any one time.
Some children ask for items that will change their life, like a mobile phone or laptop so they can keep in touch with their friends when they are stuck in hospital for a long time. Other children prefer to ask for a wish that they can share with all of their family - a holiday such as a trip to Disneyland that will give them a lasting memory, whatever the future may hold. One little girl asked to see a rainbow and another wished to have three stars named after her, her brother and her sister so she could still speak to them in heaven. Whether it is meeting their pop idol, being a policeman for the day or even baking a cake for HM The Queen, no wish is too extraordinary or daring for Starlight to try to grant.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the U.K. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and all Starlight’s activities help children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.