It was a magical moment of joy and hope when Emma Walsh turned on the Christmas tree lights at John Hunter Children's Hospital on Friday.
When Emma flicked the switch, it marked the start of the hospital's festive celebrations.
The 13-year-old Redhead resident was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia last year and had since spent more than 170 nights in the hospital.
Emma, who is receiving chemotherapy, said "I was lucky enough to go home on Christmas Eve last year".
"I want to help make Christmas magical for everyone else at the children's hospital," she said.
Her dad Brendan Walsh said it was "a real honour" for his daughter to switch on the lights.
"We spend a lot of days here when we're not smiling, so we'll take it," he said.
The children's hospital will become "a festive wonderland" in December, with Christmas craft sessions, face painting, cookie decorating and present delivery.
Visitors will include superheroes, princesses, elves, therapy dogs, football stars and Santa.
Mr Walsh said this was "extremely important" for the kids and their families.
"It plays a massive role to be honest. They're already doing it extremely hard being away from home at arguably the funnest and happiest time of the year," he said.
Matthew Frith, general manager of the children's hospital, said young patients in hospital at Christmas "miss out on decorating their trees, heading out to look at lights and taking part in other family traditions".
Mr Frith said donations, which can be made to the hospital's Christmas Wishlist, would ensure every child staying in hospital receives a present on Christmas Day.
"Every dollar donated goes to our gift-giving fund, which brings happiness and comfort to children," he said.
"We wanted to give back and help others," he said.
"We have had great love and support from our friends, family and community. We have received so many wonderful donations.
"All proceeds go directly back to support families and kids suffering long stays in hospital."
He said the charity had donated "care kit backpacks" that contain items to help kids while in hospital.
"We have provided families with financial support and helped with flights and accommodation. We want to help as many kids and families as we can."