Starlight grants a very Aussie 9,000th milestone Wish
This week Starlight Children’s Foundation 9,000th Starlight Wish will be granted. To celebrate this milestone, Starlight has created an amazing, Australian wish for one little boy and his family who are very excited!
The 9000th Starlight Wish child will be seven-year-old Gabriel (Gabe) a bright boy from Sydney with a big imagination. This unique Starlight Wish experience will be granted to Gabe, who has spent two years fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). During this time, the normally adventurous, smiling boy became lethargic and tired, enduring endless rounds of chemotherapy. His parents, Marshia and Norman, and siblings were always by his side.
“Gabe’s wish is inspired by his all-time favourite movie, Crocodile Dundee. This film is extra special to Gabe as he discovered it when he was in isolation (in hospital). It is now his all-time favourite movie as he is enthralled by the iconic character Mick Dundee,” said his mother, Marshia.
Gabe’s passion for the Australian outback, wildlife and indigenous culture will come to life when he and his family take off for a Crocodile Dundee-inspired adventure in the Northern Territory this Sunday.
While Gabe is now in remission Marshia said his Starlight Wish could not have come at a better time for their family.
“As we near the end of Gabe’s treatment, a new life is emerging for us. Gabe and his siblings are very excited for his Starlight Wish and it will be a wonderful, spiritual experience for us as a family.”
From 20–30 September, Gabe and his family will embark on the special adventure, flying Virgin Australia to explore the Northern Territory, Australian outback, and indigenous culture with a special visit to Gunlom Falls, a location best known from Crocodile Dundee.
Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO, Louise Baxter, said: “It’s incredible to think 9,000 children, just like Gabe, have experienced their own individually-tailored Starlight Wish. It’s a remarkable milestone for Starlight’s Wishgranting program which has been active for more than 27 years and continues to grow as demand from hospital wish referral sources increase.
“I hope Gabe and his family will love the adventure they have ahead of them, and create beautiful family memories to share together for years to come.”
Starlight’s 9000th Wish has been made possible thanks to the generosity of its official Wishgranting partner, Virgin Australia who have also organised for Gabe and his family to experience a very special cockpit and pilot visit as part of the experience.
In 2014, nearly 500 Starlight Wishes were granted and 245 Starlight children selected a wish that involved travel with Virgin Australia. By December 2015 more than half of all Starlight Wishes granted this year (over 280) will involve travel with Virgin Australia.
The incredible generosity from Northern Territory Tourism, local businesses and support from the Chief Northern Territory Minister Adam Giles MLA has also been wonderful, added Baxter, with experiences and accommodation supplied including Avis Car Rental, AAT Kings, Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris, Northern Territory Air Services, SEIT Outback Tours, DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin, Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Crocosaurus Cove, Shenannigans Darwin - and more.
Iconic Australian hat brand Akubra has also gifted the family their own custom-made Akubras with Gabe naturally selecting a Mick Dundee-inspired bush hat to wear on his adventure!
Starlight has been granting wishes to seriously ill children and teenagers with a wide range of illnesses and injuries around Australia since its establishment in 1988. Each Starlight Wish is unique and a dream come true for a sick kids or teen, giving them and their families something positive to look forward to during treatment.
To follow Gabriel’s adventure daily, visit www.starlight.org.au or join Starlight on Facebook and Instagram, follow #gdaygabe and #starlightwish, or be one of the 9,000 Aussies ‘saying g’day to Gabe’ by sending him messages of support online.
Gabriel’s Crocodile Dundee-inspired Starlight Wish Itinerary
- Departure: 20 September - Gabe and his family depart Sydney, taking off with Virgin Australia and arrive at Uluru for a BBQ dinner
- Day 1: 21 September - Gabe and his family learn about indigenous history with a sunrise indigenous walking tour around Uluru and enjoy a screening of Crocodile Dundee
- Day 2: 22 September - Gabe and his family enjoy a stunning sunrise camel ride experience at Uluru
- Day 3: 23 September - Gabe and his family travel from Uluru to Darwin with Virgin Australia and enjoy dinner in Darwin
- Days 4, 5, 6: 24 September - 26 September: Gabe and his family head to Kakadu National Park with Lord’s Safari for three days including a visit to Jabiru, Arnhem Land, and a special visit to Gunlom Falls for the ultimate Crocodile Dundee experience
- Days 7, 8: 27 September – 28 September: Gabe and his family travel to Wildman Wilderness Lodge for a touch of luxury
- Day 9: 29 September: Gabe and his family return to Darwin for visit to Crocosaurus Cove and a sunset harbour cruise
- Return: 30 September - Gabe and his family fly home to Sydney with Virgin Australia
To find out how you can help fulfil Starlight Wishes, please call 1300 727 827 or visit www.starlight.org.au.
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About Starlight Children's Foundation
Starlight Children's Foundation brightens the lives of seriously ill children and their families by replacing pain, fear and stress with fun, joy and laughter. Since its establishment in 1988, Starlight has expanded to become the broadest reaching children’s charity in Australia. There is now a Starlight Express Room in every children’s hospital in the country and more than 100 Captain Starlights nationwide. This year the Starlight Express Room program is expanding with construction of several new Starlight Express Rooms and refurbishment of existing rooms. Supporting sick kids regardless of illness, injury or age, Starlight’s hospital programs are uniquely Australian and exist nowhere else in the world. Last year, Starlight granted 498 life-changing wishes and supported more than 146,000 sick kids and their families. www.starlight.org.au