100 Starlight Nintendo Switch Handhelds sent to Canadian hospitals to support the mental wellbeing of sick kids


“This has been the best thing about being in the hospital and I don’t want to go home,” a young patient said to Jared Negin, a Child Life Specialist from Trillium Health Partners – Mississauga Hospital in Ontario.

This excited reaction was received after 100 Starlight Nintendo Switch Handheld devices were recently placed in 38 hospitals across the country. Thanks to the generous support of the Ardene Foundation and the Air Canada Foundation, these portable and accessible gaming systems will help hundreds of children cope with the stresses of hospitalization.

Preloaded with more than twenty-five games for hours of entertainment, the Starlight Nintendo Switch Handheld provides seriously ill children with much-needed distraction, helping ease the mental and emotional stresses they endure while in hospital.

“I recognize play as being a vital component of the normalization process that enables children to master their diagnosis and hospital experience,” shared Negin. “Play enables children to express themselves and cope with the stress and anxiety, that are so often a result of hospitalization.”

Whether a child is anxiously waiting treatment, recovering in post-op, or bored in their hospital bed, the Starlight Nintendo Switch Handhelds give hospitalized kids of all ages and diagnoses a moment of relief and a chance to find fun through the fear.

“The availability of the Nintendo Switch, which you have most generously donated, will allow our young patients to not only indirectly develop coping skills, but will also engage them in diversional and recreational play,” said Negin. “This will provide an opportunity for personal enjoyment, the combatting of boredom, and distraction from the medical procedures and the diagnosis that they so courageously face.”

For Negin and other hospital staff across Canada, the arrival of the Nintendo Switch Handhelds also means being able to create a more welcoming environment for kids in hospital who are already facing so much.

“When I have offered patients the opportunity to play with the Nintendo Switch, the first thing that I witness is often a beautiful smile,” Negin continued. “I have also witnessed during these difficult times of hospitalization, the availability of the Nintendo Switch play system allowing our precious patients to become immersed in an enjoyable, non-threatening environment and activity and just be themselves!”

A very special thank you to all of our 2022 Starlight Nintendo Switch Handheld Sponsors for helping hospitalized children find comfort across Canada: the Ardene Foundation, the Air Canada Foundation, Federated Co-operatives Ltd., Merck Canada and Regal Confections.