Maddie’s journey shows why Starlight Foundation is so important

Maddie undergoing treatment in hospital.
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The Starlight Foundation has officially launched its Starlight Day Appeal, aiming to raise $1 million by the end of June – and they need your help.

Seven-year-old Maddie Reedy was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2019 after developing unusual bruises and sores.

Mum Rebecca Seigel recalls being in and out of hospital for 12 months before Maddie was able to ring the bell, signifying the completion of her treatment. However, in a heartbreaking moment for the St Clair family, she relapsed just a month later.

“I think her bravery kept us all going,” Seigel said.

Thankfully, Maddie was connected with the Starlight Foundation almost immediately.

“Maddie was two-and-a-half, she was at that age where we knew we could make hospital fun for her with Starlight and everything that they did,” Seigel said.

The Starlight Foundation helped make Maddie’s dream come true.

Though due to her specific illness she wasn’t allowed in the Starlight Room, Maddie was able to connect with the foundation through Captain Starlight and other initiatives.

“The Captains came to her room, they had a TV, so she could always watch them and ring them,” she said.

It also made a huge difference for Maddie’s siblings and cousins.

“My son, when he’d come up to visit her during the school holidays, when it got too much he was able to go and spend time in the Starlight Room as well as my niece,” Seigel said.

“They would spend all day there, they just loved it. They make the kids laugh.”

Maddie also got her Starlight Wish in October after delays, which saw her and her family head to the Gold Coast.

Maddie on the Gold Coast.

“Her wish was to swim with dolphins when she was two-and-a-half, and we went in Halloween-time, and she loves anything spooky like that, so we did the dolphins, and they did a spooky thing at Sea World, so she got to be a part of that as well,” she said.

Now well on her way out of treatment, with her last bone marrow test taking place last week, Maddie’s journey with the Starlight Foundation is thankfully over.

However, Seigel said she couldn’t speak highly enough of the impact they had on their lives, recommending everyone to get behind them this June.

“I definitely think it made hospital easier, especially in the beginning when she was first diagnosed with leukaemia,” she said.

“But, what really stands out to me is that they still remember who she is. We’ve been through this journey for nearly five years now, and her personality and her looks have changed so much, but they still remember who she is.”

To donate, visit https://starlight.au/Maddie.


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