Backyard cinema for Jack

Jack in his very own cinema

Jack in his very own cinema11/03/2011 – Jack Daly, aged 9, from Wokingham in Berkshire has had his once-in-a-lifetime wish to have the caravan in his back garden converted in to a home cinema by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses. 

In 2009 Jack was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour, which was removed in a 10 hour operation. Jack then had to undergo an intensive course of radiotherapy every day for six weeks and then chemotherapy treatment over the course of 48 weeks to help him fight the disease.

Jack’s mum Helen describes her son as “a fun-loving little boy who, on his good days, has more energy than his parents put together.” She told Starlight that Jack is always singing, dancing and performing, and he loves Dr Who. 

When the youngster, who loves putting on shows for his family and friends, was referred to Starlight for a once-in-a-lifetime wish, he asked to have the caravan in his garden made in to a home cinema. Helen told Starlight: “It would mean so much to Jack and to us to have some fun as most our time is spent at the hospital and away from school, friends and germs!”

When he was diagnosed, Jack’s local pub raised some money to give him a caravan as a play room and when Jack was out with his mum, Starlight arrived at the house to start the caravan’s makeover in to a cinema! The caravan was decorated with soft furnishings, DVDS, popcorn machines, lettering for the side of the caravan, a lava lamp, galaxy lights, a star cloth and the surround sound, DVD player, projector and screen were installed. 

When Jack came home, he was surprised to find that he was invited to his very own premiere – in his back garden, complete with photographers, Dr Who props and a Starlight security guard with a clipboard checking off an exclusive guest list of friends, family and neighbours as they arrived for the cinema’s very first film screening! 

Jack’s dad Allan said: “Starlight has given my little man a smile back on his face. After spending a year out of school and isolated from his friends due to germs and infections, Jack has found it hard to integrate back into society and pick up where he was before this cancer nearly took his life. Now all the kids in our area are queuing up to be Jack’s best friend and come in and spend time in his cinema.

“There are so many charities out there all asking for money to find a cure for all sorts of life-threatening diseases but most of the money gets eaten up with administration and advertising, which destroys people’s faith in donating. What Starlight has done is restore my faith in charity again. By giving Jack his wish, Starlight has helped Jack with his rehabilitation of getting back to what he calls ‘a normal kid’. Thank you so much.”

Information

Contact: Henny Breakwell
Email: henny@starlight.org.uk
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231

Starlight grants a once-in-a-lifetime wish for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.

Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.

You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.