Starlight keeping watch over Armadale pint-sized warrior Orlena


Orlena with Captain Starlights and Fremantle Dockers player Lachie Neale.
Orlena with Captain Starlights and Fremantle Dockers player Lachie Neale.

EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Orlena Forsyth is a pint-sized warrior.

The Armadale resident has been in and out of hospital since suffering a fall at age three that caused bleeding on her brain.

It was then she was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and left side hemiplegia.

In between undergoing multiple operations, Orlena became familiar with the Starlight Children’s Foundation, spending time in the Starlight Express Room and meeting Captain Starlight.

Orlena’s mum Stephanie Forsyth said Starlight had been an amazing support for her family.

“Having that special happy place for the sick kids and their families to visit just brightens anyone’s day,” she said.

The support went beyond the hospital, with Orlena jetting over to the Gold Coast with her family for Wish Week and their first ever holiday.

“(It was) the greatest experience of our lives. We’d been wanting to take Orlena on a holiday for a while but never thought it was possible because of Orlena being in a wheelchair,” Ms Forsyth said.

“When Starlight granted her wish, they made the impossible possible.”

Ms Forsyth said seeing people supporting Starlight meant so much to her and her family.

“Seeing people support and donate to Starlight means that Starlight can keep making sick kids happy by keeping the Starlight Express rooms open in all our hospitals,” she said.

“The kids need a place like that they can disappear to when they’re stuck in the hospital. It gives them some resemblance of their lives outside of the hospital.”

Starlight is currently looking for companies to take part in its 60km to 80km corporate challenge, the Great Adventure Challenge.

The event takes place on Saturday, July 29, in the Yanchep region, and Starlight is aiming to raise $140,000 to give 3,500 WA kids and families access to Starlight’s programs.

The location and course are revealed the night before the event, with eight fun legs potentially including mountain biking, trail running, kayaking and coasteering.

Registrations close on Friday, June 30 – for more information, call Laura Harvey on 9460 9012 or email laura.harvey@starlight.org.au.

MORE: PMH denies surgeries delayed after family claims toddler’s life-saving procedure could be delayed until new children’s hospital opens

MORE: Long journey to Perth for Rotary exchange student

MORE: Curtin Business School signs MOA with Stanford University to enable WA students to complete international program