New Zealanders are being asked to get behind our national children’s hospital by taking part in Bake It Better for Starship, a month of bake sales in July.

Caitlin McFadden will be baking her signature blueberry muffins to raise money for Starship, after hospital staff saved her baby sister Eloise’s life – not once, but three times.

Eloise was only three weeks old when she was rushed to Starship and her parents Nadia and Leith were told she had a complex heart condition. Eloise had her first open heart surgery at just eight weeks old, another at eight months, and her third when she was 18 months old. A bubbly, confident little girl, she has had extended stays at Starship, and has spent more than six months of her young life at the hospital.

Eloise and her seven-year-old sister Caitlin, a keen baker, are the ambassadors of Bake It Better for Starship. This heart-warming initiative is a way for the country to unite and help raise vital funds to provide world class healthcare while embracing the community spirit of bake sales – whether they bake or buy.

“There is as little as two degrees of separation from each of us and a child in need – from a family member, a neighbour, a colleague or a dear friend. When they are going through a tough time, we all want to help. Bake It Better for Starship is the perfect way for Kiwi families to help not just one child but every child needing specialist Starship treatment,” Aisha Daji Punga, Chief Executive, Starship Foundation, says.

“People can come together and help others in times of need. The funds will go towards providing the best possible care for patients, and critical areas including new equipment, training and research.”

Starship provides family-centred care to children and young people throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific, managing around 130,000 patient visits each year, including Eloise, who considers Starship a second home.

“We are proud to be involved and give back to Starship, they have done so much for us. Without the expert care we’ve received at Starship, Eloise would not be here,” Nadia, from Auckland, says. “Starship is a home away from home, a place where she feels very comfortable. Despite having to spend so much time in hospital, Eloise has still been able to thrive.”

Caitlin has shared her favourite mini blueberry muffin recipe (below) one that she makes for her sister, parents and grandparents. She is excited to be part of what is anticipated to be New Zealand’s largest month-long bake sale.

Aisha hopes all New Zealanders will embrace their community spirit and get involved today: “At Starship – every hour of every day, extraordinary stories of bravery, courage, skill, kindness and compassion unfold. Every day someone needs Starship – and today Starship needs you, help us Bake it Better.”

How to get involved:
You can get involved by baking sweet, savoury or healthy treats and selling them at your school, workplace, local club or community group. Every bit(e) counts.

  • For how to donate, bake sale ideas, recipes and fundraising tools and tips, go to bakeitbetterforstarship.org.nz
  • Register now at bakeitbetterforstarship.org.nz
  • Bake it Better for Starship coincides with Starship’s valued Five Star Partner New World’s annual Baking week, July 8-14. Go in-store to find out more.
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