teen spirit

teen spirit

Thanks to the Navitas Group, seriously ill teenagers can escape the boredom and stress of hospitalisation.

Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, Cassie requires constant physiotherapy and antibiotics every few weeks to keep her free from infection and keep her lungs and pancreas free of excess fluids. Frequently when those antibiotics fail to work, Cassie is admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for a two-week intensive ‘tune up’ treatment of IV antibiotics.

Whilst PMH may not be the hottest address in town, for adolescent patients like Cassie, Club Ado is rapidly becoming the hippest place to hang out. Club Ado is a Starlight Children’s Foundation program, located within PMH that offers hospitalised teenagers aged 12 to 19 an exclusive entertainment haven. This specifically designed recreation facility is comprised of four fantastic interactive rooms that enable teens to escape the loneliness, boredom and stress of life in hospital. “Ado has made it so much easier and bearable having to go into hospital,” says Cassie.

Starlight’s most recent addition to the facility is the Club Ado Ward Program, which delivers board games, computer games, DVDs, creative writing material, magazines and art supplies to patients unable to leave their beds. Designed to bring fun and laughter to adolescents, the Club Ado activity pack provides each patient with the opportunity to explore their creative side, discover hidden talents and encourages learning. Since its inception in 2008, the Ward Program has registered over 1900 members.

Excitingly this vital program will be funded for another year thanks to money raised at the recent Royal Queensbury Corporate Challenge. The Navitas Group purchased one of the many sought after auction items on the night, and now 15 of these incredible packs will be delivered every day for a year to the bedsides of seriously ill teenagers. “Navitas is always proud to support such great charities as ToyBox and the work they do in the community,” says Executive General Manager Scott Jones.

For Cassie, these packs provide hours of entertainment and enjoyment. “I think it is very important that there is something to break the boredom. The guys that run Ado are amazing and know just how to make our hospital stay easier,” says Cassie.

Specialist Program Coordinator for Starlight, Bianca Lavorgna understands the pain, loneliness and isolation that dominates the lives of these teenagers and therefore the importance of the Ward Program.

“Adolescence is challenging at the best of times as it is a transition period from childhood to adulthood. Imagine on top of that having to deal with a serious illness or injury. The everyday joys of life often take a backseat to the stress of treatment and hospitalisation,” Lavorgna says.

Physical recovery is only part of the solution. Providing a healing environment that includes entertainment, positive distractions and laughter are key aspects when it comes to the treatment of seriously ill teenagers.

You can help ToyBox restore the fun and excitement into the lives of other hospitalised teenagers suffering from chronic or life threatening illnesses by subscribing to Box Magazine today. Visit boxmagazine.com.au or call us on 1300 BOXMAG.