Victoria’s joy... butterflies, bubbles and snowflakes


Victoria loves butterflies, bubbles and snowflakes.

It was meant to be a special day for Victoria and her family to explore the amazing underwater world of fish, sharks and colourful coral at Sydney Aquarium until Wendy and Ken noticed their daughter was walking oddly. Victoria started falling over and her left foot was completely turned in. They were even more concerned when they realised she had no strength to point her left foot forward.

Victoria in hospitalAfter little change, Wendy took her to hospital where Victoria was diagnosed with a brain tumour. If doctors didn't operate immediately there was a chance their little girl could die.

Ken was interstate on business when he got the call.  “I have never felt so helpless,” says Ken. "I was a thousand miles away from my family. I had no one to turn to. No one could answer my question until the operation was over - would my daughter die?"

Just before Victoria's big operation, Captain Starlight appeared in her room with gifts and crafts. It was the beginning of a special role that Starlight has played in their lives.

Victoria and her parents are in hospital weekly for treatment and blood tests. While they wait for test results Victoria rushes to the Starlight Express Room to see Captain Starlight, make crafts with the volunteers and play computer games. "The Starlight Express Room brings many smiles to a family who, for the most part, are pushed to the limit," says Wendy.

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It still seems surreal that people we don't know are willing to put so much effort into making our daughter happy.
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Victoria's mum, Wendy

Wendy fondly recalls the time Victoria and her sister Alexandra staged an impromptu concert in the Starlight Express Room. "It was a priceless moment, the girls were doing something so normal in such an abnormal situation."

When Starlight granted Victoria her Starlight Wish, a family trip to the snow, those weekly visits to the hospital became even easier to endure as she got closer to her dream of seeing snowflakes for the first time. The family had an amazing time and made memories that will stay with them forever. "Without Starlight, we wouldn't have seen the joy on our girl's face when she talked about her Starlight Wish."

Victoria and sister in the snow for her Starlight WishSadly, within 12 hours of returning from the trip of a lifetime, Victoria was back in hospital. Rather than focusing on her illness, Victoria talked vividly about her Starlight Wish - it helped take her mind off the pain.

To this day Victoria's Starlight Wish helps her through the tough times.

"When I'm in hospital and scary things happen, I think about the snow," says Victoria. "I always think about the snow."

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