NINE-year-old Jack Burgess has endured more than most kids his age.
The bubbly Spring Ridge boy has spent countless hours in a home away from home – the Starlight room at Tamworth hospital.
Jack was born atopic and has severe allergies, asthma and eczema.
When he’s well, he takes six dosages of medication a day and a simple virus puts him in hospital.
When he’s there, it’s the Starlight room that has ensured he keeps having fun.
Starlight rooms are places “where mayhem, joy and laughter are the order of the day”.
While sick kids often experience a very adult world of stress and trauma, play is the powerful force essential to developing resilience, well-being and a sense of normality.
Starlight Express Rooms are a medical-free haven for sick kids and their families seeking a welcome break from the relentless cycle of medical treatments and procedures.
Jack is the “the happiest boy, who loves to share that around”, according to mum Kristine.
And the proof is in the pudding because Jack has started fundraising to give back to the Starlight Foundation.
Every Friday night for the past four months, Jack has been selling tickets at the Spring Ridge Royal Hotel for a raffle he organised himself.
So far he’s raised $1400 for the foundation.
To cap off the fundraiser, the Burgess family and the Spring Ridge community have organised the Spring Ridge Starlight Bush Rally on Saturday, July 15, to coincide with the town’s annual bonfire and firecracker night.
Some of the money raised from the bonfire and firecracker night will also be donated to the Starlight Foundation.
Jack and the close-knit community of Spring Ridge must be applauded for their efforts in giving back to an organisation that helps so many local kids and their families.
It’s another timely reminder that we must all take the good from an unfortunate situation.
If Jack can still be the “happiest little boy” despite his ill health then we should all take a lesson from that. Let’s do all we can to support Jack and his quest to help keep this amazing foundation ticking.
To find out more about the work the Starlight Foundation does, visit https://starlight.org.au.