9-year-old Abbey and her little sister Piper are close and love playing together. Thankfully the girls could still spend that important childhood time together when Abbey's world was shattered by cancer.
Abbey was eight when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma - a form of bone cancer. Mum Jo said the shock diagnosis left them feeling numb.
"Abbey hadn't been sick, she just had a sore leg and suddenly we find out she has a tumour," she said, "The news was shattering."
Every aspect of their lives changed instantly as Abbey started nine months of chemotherapy at Monash Children's Hospital.
"It felt like we lived separate lives while Abbey's treatment was going on," Jo said. "Trying to keep life as normal for Piper and run a business too was nearly impossible."
Starlight helped bring a sense of 'normality' during the unimaginable pain and sadness the family faced during Abbey's long and gruelling rounds of treatment.
When she was in hospital and feeling well enough, Abbey loved going to play in the Starlight Express Room. As soon as she walked in, Abbey could forget about her treatment and have some fun doing arts and crafts with Piper, just like before she became sick.
Jo said the Starlight Express Room kept their minds off what was going on and gave them all a break. Abbey even celebrated her birthday party in the room with Captain Starlight, and she loves nothing more than playing jokes on Captain Starlight!
It gave us all the chance to relax and forget about the world for a while. The Starlight Express Room made very long days bearable and kept both my girls busy with craft, games, face painting or anything they chose to do.Abbey's mum, Jo
When Abbey was too unwell to leave the hospital ward, Captain Starlight would visit her, and Jo said these visits made the world of difference.
When Abbey was feeling sick from chemo, seeing Captain Starlight was sometimes the only time she would smile all day.Abbey's mum, Jo
The family is so thankful to Starlight supporters for helping give Abbey fun and happiness during such a sad and painful time.
"Thank you for the ongoing support to Starlight, the difference you make to sick children having a place they can go to and forget about real life for a while is amazing! No words can really describe how grateful we are."
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