In the past I've participated in Extra Life because I knew it was a good cause that I wanted to support, but I had not been personally touched by the programs that it benefits. I have a brother that has been hospitalized a couple of times, and a neice who was born with half a heart, but a few months ago I had the chance to be personally touched by the program.
After a routine tonsilectomy, one of my sons woke up in the middle of the night coughing up blood and needed immediate attention and another surgery. After the 2nd surgery, he was sedated and using a breathing tube and ventilator that would stay in for another 3 days. He couldn't speak, rarely opened his eyes, and when he did peek through the sedation it was usually to express discomfort.
I'm not going to share the photos of him with the breathing tube in, out of respect for his privacy, but I assure you that sitting in the room with him in that state for three days was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
I don't have the words to express how thankful I am that we were at CHOP when it happened, and how grateful I am to the 15-20 people who rushed into his room and handled the situation calmly and expertly. They had him calm and breathing comfortably in moments. This is exactly the kind of care that all children deserve, and giving it to them is the mission of Children's Miracle Network.
Not to distract you from the mission at hand, but another charity that I give to every year is Child's Play, and similarly it wasn't until this year that we got first hand experience of the good this charity does. After his surgeries, we were visited by someone from the "Child Life" department, who made a huge effort to give him exactly the things he wanted. She asked what his favorite three things were and his answers were trains, dragons, and Mario Kart. She returned a few minutes later with a small toy train set and a dragon-themed arts and crafts kit, both of which he got to keep. Later we received one of the mobile Wii stations so that he could play Mario Kart.
Not to mention every floor had its own play room. Two in fact. One for the older kids stocked with video games and things for tweens and teens; and one for the younger kids that focused more on crafts and coloring and toys.
I can't even begin to tell you how crucial these things were to our days in the hospital. We were there for 9 days and 8 nights, and without the joys and distractions of toys and the arts and crafts, it would have been absolutely gruelling. I'm leaving out a lot of details for the sake of brevity, but suffice it to say, this smile says everything:
For the 5th year, I'm on a mission to help sick and injured kids in the Philadelphia area and I need your help. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their illness, injury or even their family's ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries they may get from just being a kid.
To help raise funds and awareness for these sick and injured kids, I'm participating in this huge worldwide movement called Extra Life. Gamers of all kinds pledge to play everything from video games to board games and tabletop RPG's for 24 hours! It's my sincere hope that you'll find it in your heart to support my efforts with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to CHOP.
Your donation is tax-deductible and will make miracles happen for families who desperately need them. You can click the "Donate" button at the top of this page to make a safe and easy online donation.
I need your help to reach my goal For The Kids. Thank you so much for supporting my efforts!
Staying up to play games for 24 hours is really hard when you're flying solo overnight. I've learned the hard way that it's best to bring along some friends. My brother Jared and my friend Jordan will be joining me and together we'll be playing Steam, HTC Vive, Wii, X-Box, and Nintendo Switch games. During the daylight hours we'll be occasionally joined by my wife and two children, and we'll probably spend most of that time playing board games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Wizard School, and Munchkin.
We'll be playing from the morning of Saturday November 11th straight through until the morning of Sunday November 12th. We may also stream some or all of it on you YouTube channel, if we can make the tech work.
Extra Life is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising program within the gaming community. Participants fundraise year-round and pledge to game for 24 hours with one goal: to save and improve the lives of sick and injured kids. Funds raised stay local to help pediatric patients at 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across North America. Since 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for member hospitals. The movement, formed by gamers bonded by passion, is committed to saving and improving the lives of local kids.