Whether a child is in hospital with an injury or illness, there is one thing they all suffer from — homesickness. Kids don’t belong in hospital, they belong at home with their families, especially during the holiday season, which is why Assembly Label is proud to partner with Curing Homesickness, a joint fundraising initiative that unites children’s hospitals and paediatric services from across Australia. To help kids come home for the holidays, we have launched a new limited-edition collection of kids art print tees and 100% of sales will be donated to Curing Homesickness.
The Curing Homesickness cause resonates deeply with many of our friends and family, including Giulia Cremona, Assembly Label’s Digital & eCommerce Coordinator. At 14, Giulia was admitted to Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick with acute liver and kidney failure. Her first stay “was just shy of 12 months”, and she was then readmitted for another nine months. Reflecting on what it first felt like to be away from home, Giulia says, “It was terrifying. I remember being really confused about what was happening and not being able to grasp why I couldn’t leave. I felt really alone and isolated. I spent my 15th and 16th birthdays in the wards”.
“When I think about ‘home’, I don’t feel like it’s a specific place, but more so the people I have around me. Being sick really concreted who the most valuable people in my life were.”
During her extensive stays in hospital, what Giulia missed most was “a sense of normality”, her loved ones and her friends. For Giulia, nothing could ever truly remedy her feelings of homesickness. “Having loved ones around definitely helped at times, but I think it’s hard to ease those feelings when you’re in such a foreign, confronting environment,” she says. “My family and friends were a huge support, however I relied on the nursing staff the most. Because my admissions were so long, it was hard for my loved ones to come and visit me frequently because they worked or went to school, so I grew quite close to the nurses.” Visits from therapy dogs were another source of comfort and company, says Giulia. “I loved when they would bring support dogs through the wards — it made my day.”
Having such a profound experience early in life has inevitably informed Giulia’s idea of home. “When I think about ‘home’, I don’t feel like it’s a specific place, but more so the people I have around me,” she shares. “Being sick really concreted who the most valuable people in my life were. To me, home is my friends who were there every step of the way and my dad — he has always been my sole parent, and this experience brought me a lot closer to him.”
Learn more about our partnership with Curing Homesickness and explore the collection of kids tees here.