Joy Toys

When Sienna was first diagnosed with Leukaemia, her parents quickly learned how valuable the moments playing with their daughter would become.

When their normally bright and vivacious seven-year-old girl started to seem uncharacteristically fatigued, Sienna's parents quickly grew concerned that something might be wrong. They took her to the local GP to investigate what they thought was a common flu virus, never imagining that their child would be diagnosed with Leukaemia.

Within 30 minutes of that life-changing diagnosis, Sienna and her parents were on the cancer ward at Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital. "She was very scared of anything that was happening to her," recalls Sienna's father Chris. "All of a sudden there were doctors and nurses all around her doing tests."

The foreign environment, unfamiliar sights and smells of being admitted to hospital can be a scary experience for kids like Sienna. With endless hospital visits, and painful treatments that can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks, there is a significant amount of stress and anxiety that both the children and the parents have to endure.

To ease that stress and anxiety, just a little, PMH has Hospital Play Coordinators to look after the happiness and stimulation of kids that are confined to the hospital ward. In the midst of strict treatment routines and constant tests, Sienna's spirit lifts when the Hospital Play Coordinators come around to paint and draw with her.

With so many children like Sienna moving through the hospital each year, some on long-term treatments, replacing these toys is vital to ensuring this valuable program can continue.

Your subscriptions to Box Magazine have funded a generous grant through ToyBox International that will provide new toys and activities for the hospital for an entire year. The grant will fund new purchases as well as replacing toys that are old and damaged.

Chris says that with Sienna going through so much, any distraction from her long ordeal is cherished. "Just to see [her] laughing and playing as any other child would, is medicine itself."

Troy Barbagallo