STAR WARS FOR STARSHIP
People often ask why is there Star wars Lego on display on our top floor.
Our long term association with Starship began 24 February in 1998, on day two of our eldest child Johnathan’s life when he was diagnosed with a bowel disease and transferred to Starship. The following four months were spent in hospital, as he underwent multiple operations and medical procedures.
This was our introduction to parenting!
Those early days were hard. We lost contact with a lot of our friends and as a married couple we hardly saw each other as one or the other was with Johnathan. The staff at Starship were always amazing. The surgeons were always visiting and checking on us and other patients, even on their days off. The nurses became friends, particularly for my wife. When we were discharged many visited us at home and looked after Johnathan so we could have a date.
Even in the years that followed we had regular long periods where we stayed in Starship. Everyone, in every department always remembered Johnathan.
In 2005 I wanted to say thank you to Starship.
In 2008 I built my own rock climbing gym.
A couple of years later I was approached by a young woman who had to do a fundraiser as part of her service to the community. She knew I supported Starship and suggested a climb-athon where she would ask to be sponsored ‘per climb’ and she would attempt 100 climbs. We organised the whole thing in a few days and a couple other kids, mine included, decided to join her, raising just over $700. We have held the climb-athon every year since and with up to 20 kids involved.
In 2016 I decided to show all my Star Wars Lego again
It had nearly doubled in size since the first show. We dedicated the entire top floor of my climbing gym to it. Entry was a gold coin donation. We raised just over $4000 and Seven Sharp ran a story on it this time.
Over the years, through the Lego and the climb-athon, we have been able to give over $20,000 back to Starship.
Today Johnathan is 19. He has beaten the odds. He still has visits to hospital, but none of the long stays as in the early years. He has finished a level 5 computing qualification and like most teenagers is not really sure where to from here. He loves to help people and is amazing with little kids, especially those with medical issues. He still helps me with the Lego and loves computer games. He would like to become a police officer in the future. The thing that stands out for me is that he has a future, something that when we first went to Starship didn’t look possible.
Today there are always Star Wars Lego models on display on the top floor, for people to look at. And there is a donation box on the counter by the front door for Starship Hospital.