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Organization brings light to kids battling cancer

Promedica and Starlight team up to honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
ProMedica and Starlight help normalize hospital experiences
ProMedica and Starlight help normalize hospital experiences
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and though the month is coming to a close, it’s not too late to honor the brave kids who are in the fight.

For 13 years now, ProMedica has partnered with Starlight, an organization that brings happiness to sick kids and their families. Together, they help normalize the experiences of kids who are sick in the hospital.

Starlight provides ProMedica with virtual reality headsets to distract patients during painful procedures, and they provide interactive video games.

“Gaming of any kind helps kids feel like kids because sick kids deserve to still play and explore the opportunities that they normally would if they weren’t in a hospital setting,” said Sara Hewston, a child life specialist with Starlight.

Starlight also makes kid-friendly gowns that are more comfortable and functional, and the best part is that kids with cancer actually get to design the gowns. The most recent gown was designed by Henry, a four-year-old leukemia patient.

“What better way to partner with Henry than bringing a starlight gown from a sick kid to sick kids. So he came up with this design featuring a tyrannosaurus rex and volcanoes and palm trees, and he worked with our graphic designer to come up with the perfect gown,” said Hewston.

Kylee Byrd is a child life specialist a ProMedica, and she said her patients love the dinosaur gowns. Plus, they make it easier for doctors to treat the kids.

“They are easily accessible for our patients, a lot of them have ports, so to be able to get to those can be challenging sometimes so these snap very easily, tie on the sides so easy access to those ports,” said Byrd.

Starlight said they are always in need of donations so they can keep bringing kids joy.

The link to donate is: www.starlight.org

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