20/05/2011 – Seventeen year old Christopher Smith from Middle Wallop in Hampshire has had his wish for a flat screen television granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.
In July 2009, Christopher was diagnosed with a life-threatening form of cancer that occurs in children and young people called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. As a result of his condition, Christopher has had to undergo intensive courses of chemotherapy and sadly has suffered many adverse side affects from the treatment.
He developed avascular necrosis, which is also known as dead bone disease, in his hips, legs and shoulders. There is no immediate cure for this disease, but joint replacement is possible after chemo treatment has finished. Christopher now requires a wheelchair on bad days and is greatly restricted in his mobility. He finishes chemotherapy in October 2012.
Before diagnosis, Christopher was a keen sportsman, particularly interested in clay pigeon shooting, of which his dream was to represent the UK in the 2016 Olympics. Sadly, he is no longer able to pursue this dream. He has had to give up rock climbing and archery as well as any hopes of joining the forces like his father.
Christopher wrote to Starlight and said: “I have a wish for a flat screen TV. Due to the side effects of the treatment, my mobility has been greatly reduced and I am mostly confined to the house. As I can not get out much to see my friends, I socialise with them over the internet. I would like a large flat screen TV to play games on and watch films without having to strain myself to see. This would be really useful for my confined lifestyle.”
Starlight arranged for a huge 47 inch flat screen television to be delivered to Christopher at home, which means he can now play games with his friends online and watch films in comfort.
Christopher’s mum and dad said afterwards: “You have managed to give a young man years of sunshine in what has been 20 months of gloom.”
Contact: Henny Breakwell
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.