Little Star Foundation has been helping bring Health, Education, Art, Sports & Support Programs to children, families and communities across the U.S. and world for 30 years.
by Little Star Foundation – July 21, 2016 launch at Stanford University
Little Star Foundation Mission: To provide a better quality of life and long term care to children with cancer and children in need with specialized Programs: Hospital and Hospice Support * Medical Care * Camp and Recreational Activities * Educational Scholarships * Financial Assistance * Outreach Programs * Therapeutic Learning Opportunities *
Letter From a Doctor
Dr. David Kirkpatrick
My wife Judy and I are writing to convey to you our thanks and admiration for what you do. Our daughter Meghan has recently returned from what is likely the best week of her life, spent at your ranch with other kids and young adults who have lived through cancer and its aftermath. The happiness and confidence and energy she received from her stay with all of you can't be fully described. The location is very nice, but it is the love and bond of friendship that shines through even more.
When we learned of the recurrence of the tumor in Meghan's neck in January of this year, we were all quite low. At that point in time, to even fantasize that we could beat the point where we are today in the wake of Meghan's return from your ranch was inconceivable. I just want you to know that your mission statement has come to life in Meghan's experience. I'm sure you hear this from others as well, but to make it your mission to offer lifetime opportunities to these kids and then to put in the work that you obviously have to get to this point is truly a blessing for all those touched by your existence.
From two grateful parents who have lived through all that childhood cancer puts in the path, please know that we are very appreciative for Meghan's opportunity to participate at your ranch. Please don't ever think that the work you do is anything but noble and appreciated. You have our love and respect always.
Dave and Judy Kirkpatrick
Letter From a Children's Hospital
"I would like to express our thanks on behalf of the children, parents and staff at Children’s Memorial Hospital for your kind contribution. Your thoughtfulness and caring qualities for hospitalized children, make it possible for us to provide them with a positive hospital experience. Thank you again! Our best wishes and kindest regards."
Child Life Dept, Children’s Memorial Hospital
Letter From a School District
"On behalf of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Office of Instruction I would like to thank you for your generous contributions to the students of our District. Our instructional specialists were very impressed with not only the timely content (of programs) and its relevance to our culturally-diverse student population, but with the format as well. Please accept our most sincere appreciation for including the Los Angeles Unified School District in your area of (program) distribution. Our students will not only gain more knowledge about the world, but will have a better understanding of different people, places and events in it. Each student recipient will also learn by example that individual children can accept responsibility for making the Earth a safer, more hospitable place.”
Los Angeles Unified School District
Letter From a Mother
I would like to tell you why what you do at Little Star is so important! My son Adam was diagnosed in May of 2000 with cancer. He was 12. He spent almost the entire first year of treatment in the hospital. He went from 90lbs to 60. Lost his hair, his pride but never his will to live, thank God. We almost lost him at least 3 times and I'm sure many more than that. While his friends were playing baseball and football and going to school, he was hooked up, throwing up and fed up.
Adam watched 13 friends die in the first year and a half. While his friends were going to birthday parties, he was attending funerals of children. This is not uncommon for any of these young people. One of these kids was a very close friend. When she relapsed, she told her parents, "NO more" her parents loved her so much that they listened to her. We were on vacation and I called her dad to see how she was doing. We had seen her the day before and she was doing well. Her father said, "Don, were going to loose her today" I couldn’t believe it. From looking ok to dying, she was 10. Adam said, "I have to go to her." We packed up our car and drove off our vacation to the hospital. Her mother met us and took Adam into her room. It was peaceful and lit by pretty little lights. There was her favorite music playing and her family was with her. She was in a semi coma. When her mother whispered in her ear that Adam was there she mustered up the strength and reached for him. Adam learned that day that death isn't always chaos. That it can be beautifully peaceful. His little friend died an hour after our visit.
I could write a book with all of the stories from the past three years but my point is that places like Little Star take away some of the pain and some of the bad memories. The fee to get into your camp and others, or to meet famous people or to go to sporting events is cancer, what these kids walk away with is priceless.
I would like to thank each one of you for taking the time to replace the bad with the very good. When we watched the video you sent I saw just how good you are. You may never fully understand what kind of an impact you make on these young people. My hope is, when they look back, they don't see only hospitals and chemo but they see horseback riding and rafting and skits and new friends. I know they are all changed people from the experiences that you have provided to them. You have done an incredible job.
Thank you to the person who started the camp to the person who donates to the person who makes the kids kiss the fish to the person who cooks to the med staff to everyone who put forth the effort to care!
Bless you all,
Adam Rossmann's mom
Letter From Over 10 Year Participant & Still Participating
The trip was phenomenal! It was without question one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. I did so many things for the first time in my life. I had never been in the ocean or even seen it in person, I hadn't worn shorts in over four years, and I had never been to an orphanage before which was the best part of the trip. I will never forget it!
You are an amazing person. You always put others ahead of you all the time, and you always make sure people are having the best time they can have! I do not anyone in any profession who works as hard as you do, which is 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You truly are an incredible person.
When I look back on everything that has happen in my life I get mad sometimes. The chemo, the scars on my leg where I swear there is no end or no beginning, having to miss so much school growing up, beating the cancer then learning over 4 years later that I still had to loose my leg and after over 4 years of physical therapy and countless number of surgeries and then in the end to be told that it can no longer function and therefore has to be removed, and the latest thing with my eyes being the way they are because of all the chemo I have had. Even after all that and much more I wouldn't wish my life was any different. If I had never been diagnosed with cancer 11 years ago I would have never gotten my leg amputated. If I hadn't had an amputation back in 2000, I would have never been given the chance to meet such a remarkable person like you. I truly mean every single word I just said. In the last 7 years I have been able to be with you 4 different times, and I am grateful for each and every one of those times. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason.
Just this previous trip you have helped me become more confident in myself, you are still helping me so much and probably don't even know. I will never forget you how you made feel so comfortable with my leg. I was nervous and to be honest with you embarrassed to take my leg off in front of others. I remember you walked up the stairs to the top of the water slide with Maja and I and waited till the last second before taking my leg and then running all the back down the stairs and still being able to get down there fast enough to take pictures of Maja and I going through the swim tube. You didn't mind whatsoever having to run down the stairs holding a prosthesis in your arms, also not caring what others may have been thinking. I also will never forget right after that when you took my 9 lb computer leg by the water slide and ran all the way to my room to get to my other leg and then ran all the way back to slide to give it to me so I could go on the slide. You have no clue how much those things mean to me. I will never forget those memories!
You are inspiration and hero to me. I want to do as much as possible to help you out with anything you ever need. If you need any help I would love to help to you. If it's in San Diego, New York, wherever it may be I would love the opportunity to be able to not only help you but to help others the way you have helped me in the last 7 years I have known you. I know I would be great with the kids. If there are any kids who may have a physical disability and feel uncomfortable, I believe I can reach out to them the same way you did with me. Even if you want me to go to hospitals in my area and drop off toys to the kids, I would love to! I had a great time last year doing that!
Thanks once again for everything! You are an amazing person!
Letter From a Mother
To whom it may concern,
My daughter, Christine Downs was one of your guests during the June 21st session, words cant describe the gratitude my family has for you all. If someone had told me 5 months ago, my daughter would be not only alive, but having literally the time of her life in Colorado, I never would've believed them.
For all the pain, treatments, sickness and suffering Christine had to endure, I feel that the week she was at camp has made the memories of the hospital fade just a bit. And for that I am forever grateful. I hope you all know what a truly wonderful thing you are doing.
We received the tape of the session the other day, and I must tell you, my husband and I were teary eyed through the whole thing. To see the kids all smiling, laughing and enjoying themselves in a way that they haven't in a long time, I’m sure, was a blessing. For all the suffering Christine has gone through, I thank you for giving her the best time of her life.
Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
Christine during a Foundation Program.
Christine is from New Hampshire and
was diagnosed with Burkitts Lymphoma.
Letter From a Mother
Dear friends at Little Star,
I'm Mary's mother, Kim, and I'm writing on her behalf to give you an update of her condition and activities. First, I want to tell you how thankful I am to you for all you've done for her and given her. Even with Mary’s illness her stay at the ranch last summer made a lasting impression on her life. You are very special to her and I am thankful and grateful to you for being a part of her life.
Mary was able to attend school some during spring semester and went to her junior prom in April. Due to chemo complications May and June were difficult months and resulted in a hospital stay the first two weeks of June. At the end of July she received chemo and steroid treatment that caused her counts to drop and resulted in a hospital stay August 4th. She came home last Sunday but still is not feeling well. Hopefully in a few weeks she will rebuild her strength again. She is looking forward to her senior year and wants to start school and attend as much as she can.
Mary enjoys your newsletters and appreciates the gifts you send. Again, please know how thankful I am for your goodness to her and for the hope you give to her and all the other young people whose lives you touch.
Letter From a Grandmother
This is to the whole group-
I don't know if Caleb has thanked all of you for the trip and all of the gifts but they are very much appreciated. He had a wonderful time. I know that all of you know that you are very special people but let me tell you about something that I noticed from the kids that went on the trip.
The little boy (Ricky) that had to have part of his leg removed - when everyone arrived at the airport to depart for the trip - he stood away from everyone else, almost underneath some of the steps, and seemed very shy and afraid to be part of the group. Well, when they returned from the trip, he came down the escalator griming from ear to ear and his face was brimming with a big smile. Then he and Caleb and Ryan put their heads together for a picture and I heard them talking about how they were going to take care of each other - stay in contact, etc. When Ricky said that he did not have a computer, they were talking about writing and calling him and getting together to eat, etc.
Another one is each night Caleb takes that little blanket that he got to bed with him. It is not like he is covering up with it - he is holding it up to him. It is almost like he is a little boy with a "blankie" again. (well, I know that Caleb's younger life was not very good, so maybe he didn’t have a "blankie". He looks so sweet with it and I know it means so much to him. This morning he had to go for some testing and had to be there early - endocrine (Growth hormone simulation test) and they told him it would take about 3-4 hours and they drew blood every 15-30 minutes. He took that little blanket with him. The medicine made him sleepy and he was covered up with that blanket.
I know you get hundreds of stories like this but you need to hear what you mean to these
kids. Thank you so very much.
Pat Lineberger (Caleb's grandmother)
Letter From a Mother
To Andrea and friends.
This is Diane Peacock, I am TJ's mom. He is the young man that you visited at LA Children’s Hospital on the 4th floor and you played a little tennis with in his room. I want to say thank you for the visit. TJ has been there just over 5 wks. He had gotten very ill from the chemo and stem cell transplant.
As you can imagine, it gets pretty boring and your visit was just what he needed. We just came home this afternoon and hopefully will stay home. TJ was diagnosed with a brain tumor 4 yrs ago when he was 14. He had surgery to remove his right temporal lobe, procedures, radiation and 18 mo. of chemo.
He did well for 3 1/2 yrs before this recurrence. He had another surgery in Aug. 2006 to remove the right frontal lobe of his brain. He has now had his right and frontal lobes removed and is still doing well. He should have had some deficits, as you can imagine after losing that much brain tissue but he is great. He is my miracle.
After the first round of all this, he was told he would probably not feel like doing anything, but he did not accept that and was out every day after treatment, playing golf. I would walk with him but I dont play. He has actually made 2 hole in one's. I dont know too many healthy golfers that can say that. TJ was always a baseball player, as was our whole family. He had just made the H.S. Freshman team when he was first diagnosed and never got to play in a H.S. game. But instead of feeling sorry for himself, he turned his energy to golf and became quite good. He made the school team in his Soph. year and was team cpt. all 3 yrs.
This is a young man who never says never and will not give up or feel sorry for himself. He has the attitude of "lets just do it and get on with it". He is my hero and has kept me strong thru all of this. I am so blessed to have this beautiful boy in my life as well as another older son, Travis, who has had a hard time watching his little brother go thru all this.
I have been reading your book and am so amazed at how you knew your purpose at such a young age. Your spirit & enthusiasm is very clear and we thoroughly enjoyed your visit. I am so thankful for the time you spent with TJ and the additional time you took to pray with us.
It was a very uplifting visit. I thank God every day for my kids and ask that He will heal TJ. I know that TJ also has a very important purpose in life. A good part of that I think was to remind us of how lucky we are and to never take a moment together for granted. Each small glimpse and every moment with my children is a blessing and a gift.
I honor you for what you are doing to help children and I wish you continued good luck with your calling in life. God has and will continue to Bless you and your work. Thank you for the great visit and the beautiful prayer.
Diane, Larry, Travis & TJ
Letter From College Student Isabella Darden×
Letter From a Mother×
Letter From a Child×
Letter from Center for Children with Brain Injuries×
Letter From a Pediatric Hospital
Dear Ms. Jaeger and Ms. Solarova
On behalf of all of our pediatric oncology patients and those that care for them, please allow me to express our deepest gratitude for your kindness and generosity that you imparted so effortlessly at your visit to the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital yesterday. The children had a wonderful time meeting you and benefitting from your tennis friendly tournaments~ I want to thank you both for taking the time to enrich and enlighten our children. We were all truly amazed by the passion you both conveyed. You have truly touched our hearts!
Our team at large were so impressed how brilliantly you provided support, compassion and fun for “our” children…
We are honored to partner with you and The Little Star Foundation ~I have shared your contact information with our pediatric social workers in the hopes that they may avail themselves of your services to benefit our pediatric oncology clientele. I am so impressed with the mission of “Today is The Day” journal and I thank you for sharing this gentle reminder of the “possibilities” throughout the year with all of us !`.
Once again, thank you so very much. I hope we can expand our connection in the very near future ~ We look forward to enriching our relationship for many years to come benefitting from your gentle strength, generosity and kindness~
Once again, thank you so very much for sharing your hearts~
With Admiration and Gratitude,
Ann and the Child Life/Music Therapy Team
Kasey, Caitlin , Laura and Nicole
Ann Nancy Fogel,C.C.L.S., M.A
Child Life Coordinator
Letter from a Church
It is with a great pleasure that I am sending you a check from First Presbyterian Church of Waunakee. We held a Women's Little Star Luncheon and Auction in November and these are the proceeds! We would like the funds to be used to help send a Wisconsin child to camp next year.
As a part of the program, we presented each attendee with a Little Star brochure and showed your “Dateline NBC” clip. All who were in attendance were very touched and moved by your dedication to such worthy cause.
My son Sean has matured tremendously and his anger over having cancer has subsided, a direct influence from attending your camps. He enjoyed his stays at Little Star so much. He cant’ wait until we get some snow so he can go skiing here!
We can’t thank you and your entire staff enough for all that you are doing to enrich the lives of these children. God Bless you all!
First Presbyterian Church
Letter from Jr. High Student×
Letter from a High School Student×
A Letter from Rhea
Little Star Foundation new FL office joins CO location:
174 Watercolor Way Suite 103, B343
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Tax ID: 86-0947944
Little Star Foundation “Today is the Day” Art work by Adriana Solarova
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