Bake It Better for Starship
Don your apron and join our nationwide bake-sale to bring better health and brighter futures to Starship children. The money you raise will help fund new equipment, training and research. Whether you like to bake sweet, savoury or healthy treats, every little bit(e) counts.
Bake it Better is a new initiative for our national children’s hospital. This is the first time Starship has asked for support in this way, and the intention is that Bake it Better will be held every year to coincide with Bake Week held at New World supermarkets throughout the country.
Bake sales have been a staple part of New Zealand life for decades, and while it’s not a new idea, it’s a great way to bring people together for good. Bake it Better for Starship is a way for the Foundation to raise funds to maintain the service the hospital provides, especially in critical areas like new equipment and research.
Bake it Better for Starship is another way for everyday New Zealanders to show their support.
Compassion Begins at Home
Caitlin McFadden loves to bake. She’s only 7 years old, but she can whip up a delicious batch of cupcakes in an afternoon, and her mini blueberry muffins are a treat for the whole family. In fact, bake day has become a bit of an occasion in the McFadden household with Nana and Grandad, as well as Granny, indulging in Caitlin’s homemade goodies.
When Caitlin heard about Bake it Better for Starship, she jumped at the chance to get involved in support of her little sister, Eloise.
Caitlin is close to her sister. The girls are just three years apart, and Caitlin was at the hospital to welcome Eloise to the world. They’ve been best mates ever since – Caitlin even remembers the first time she was able to give her little sister a cuddle in the hospital. Everything seemed perfect, but at just three weeks old, Eloise was unexpectedly admitted to Starship. A diagnosis soon followed.
Eloise has several congenital heart defects; tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, and MAPCAs. Her condition also affects her liver.
At 8 weeks old, Eloise had her first open heart surgery (OHS). As a result of the surgery, feed tolerance and weight gain became issues, and a nasal-gastric (NG) tube became part of life for the next two years. Eloise underwent further surgery when she was 8 months old, with complications leading to an extended stay in Starship’s ward 23B.
Eloise had her third OHS in 2017 at 18 months old. Surgery went well, with a valve and conduit placed that will hopefully last for years to come, but a complicated post-operative period lead to another extended stay in Starship.
For Eloise, Starship has been a home away from home – a place where she feels comfortable. In total, she has spent more than six months in hospital. She’s known to the staff and, on scheduled visits, she is always greeted with smiles and hugs, and general amazement at how well she looks and how big she has grown.
Throughout her ordeals, Eloise has been able to thrive in the Starship environment with her medical teams taking time to get to know her, talk with her and help her personality develop into the positive and curious little person she is. Of course, she’s also always had her family by her side and the loving support of her big sister.