Disney and Starlight Children’s Foundation Deliver Comfort and Joy to Texas Children’s Hospital Patients


Disney and the nonprofit Starlight Children’s Foundation teamed up at Texas Children’s Hospital to host a Spidey-themed delivery event to celebrate the launch of “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends,” season two. A highlight of the celebration was the opportunity for hospitalized patients and their families to be among the first in the United States to enjoy a pre-screening of the first episode of the hit series’ new season, which officially launches Aug. 19 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Cast member Armen Taylor (voice of Hulk) made a special appearance at the event to meet with patients and their families.

In addition, the group distributed “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends”-themed toys, activity packs and books. Patients took photos with their families, physicians and nurses in front of a large backdrop featuring characters from “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” to commemorate the special day.

Today was a different experience versus our normal hospital visits,” said Brenna Stelly, whose child, Everly, enjoyed the Disney experience. “This opportunity allowed her to see that hospitals can be fun. It’s not always about her diagnosis, it can be about her happiness as well.”

“We’re incredibly grateful for the longstanding relationship with Disney and the generous donation of ‘Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends’-themed products,” said Adam Garone, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “Delivering fun experiences like this today help hospitalized kids forget about their illnesses for just a moment and rediscover the joy of childhood.”

“At Starlight, transforming the hospital stay is core to our mission of delivering happiness to seriously ill kids and their families. Thank you to Disney and Texas Children’s Hospital for the support in creating this positive experience that patients will carry with them long after they leave the hospital,” Garone added.  

“Our Texas Children’s physicians and staff were delighted to watch the joy and excitement on the faces of our hospitalized patients as they reveled in this unique Disney visit,” said Tabitha Rice, executive vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital. “Thanks to Texas Children’s established relationship with Disney and support from Starlight Children’s Foundation, our patients and their families experienced pure Disney joy — a most welcome reprieve from the many stresses that can accompany a child’s hospital stay.

The event was part of Disney’s 2018 commitment of $100 million to help children’s hospitals reimagine the patient experience and deliver joy when it’s needed most. In 2018, Disney chose Texas Children’s as the very first children’s hospital in the nation to pilot its pediatric hospital initiative, created to help reimagine the patient and family experience. This special program helps ease the fear and anxiety of a hospital stay by bringing the wonder of Disney stories to patients and families through the transformation of hospital spaces with imaginative installations such as interactive murals and digital displays; creating personalized moments by delivering Disney-themed Starlight Hospital Wear, care packages and products; and providing complimentary access to Disney+ and special screenings of newly released movies. Texas Children’s staff also receive colorful employee badges featuring beloved Disney characters with the goal of providing joy and comfort to patients and their families during appointments. To help transform patients’ hospital stays into memorable Disney-inspired experiences, Texas Children’s team members also receive in-person training.

This summer, Disney teamed up with Starlight Children’s Foundation to deliver packages filled with a variety of “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” products, including books, toys and activity packs, to children’s hospitals across the country.

According to Garone, the child life teams at partner hospitals provide Starlight’s state-of-the-art programs as distraction tools to help young patients get through the pain and stress of serious illnesses and hospitalization. Starlight offers its programs — including Starlight Gaming, Starlight Hospital Wear and Starlight Deliveries of toys and games — free of charge to over 800 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the U.S.

Community members can also play a part in transforming hospital moments for seriously ill children. To learn more, visit starlight.org/disney.

“Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” — which recently was picked up for a third season and is the No. 1 most-watched new preschool series among boys aged 2-5 — has amassed over 383 million views across Disney Junior and Marvel HQ YouTube channels since its August 2021 launch.

About Starlight Children’s Foundation

Starlight Children’s Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that delivers happiness to seriously ill or injured children and their families. Since 1982, Starlight’s ground-breaking and innovative programs, like Starlight Virtual Reality, Starlight Hospital Wear, and Starlight Gaming, have impacted 21 million kids at more than 800 children’s hospitals across the U.S.

To learn more and to help Starlight deliver happiness to seriously ill kids, visit www.starlight.org and follow Starlight on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children’s care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children’s Health Plan, the nation’s first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children’s Pediatrics; Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.