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Angela Marie

Team Captain Hellsing Organization Extra Life 2019

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Why I Extra Life

I learned about Extra Life 9 years ago from a friend who was fundraising. When I first got involved, I didn't have a "Why". I just wanted to go hang out at with my friends and stay up for 24 hours to play games. Even now, that's definitely an appeal.

7 years ago, I signed up to raise money myself. Even then, I didn't have a Why, other than it was a really great cause. I have no personal, direct connections to Boston Children's Hospital. I've never been treated there. To my knowledge (at the time), I didn't know anyone who had. I didn't want to be a hero. I just wanted to do something more than play games. And hey, the good feelings from beating my fundraising goal that first year didn't hurt, either.

5 years ago, I learned that I could volunteer with my local Guild to help promote and recruit for Extra Life. My first event was fun and laid back, and while I had no idea what I was getting into, I knew I wanted to do it more. Even then, I didn't have a Why. I just knew that it was impossible to go back to regular attendance again, now that I knew what working behind the scenes of a con was like. I felt special. I wanted to do more.

But during these recruitment events, my view of Extra Life changed dramatically. At cons and expos, I talked to people. And this was where I started developing relationships with people who had been personally affected by Boston Children's Hospital and the Children's Miracle Network hospitals in general. I learned heartwarming, and heartbreaking, stories of kids who needed the care, and got it, thanks to CMN hospitals. I learned how Boston Children's Hospital, in particular, was the worldwide destination for kids who needed care. I learned that Extra Life's proceeds - 100%, every single penny I had raised - went towards programs to help support the very parents, patients, and families I had met through recruitment events. 

The first time I signed up a mom, and she looked me straight in the eye and thanked me for all my hard work, because it was the money we were raising that helped her daughter send her cancer into remission... I was changed, forever and always.

I now had my why. For every kid who can walk up to me at an event and tell me how CMNH saved their lives, there are kids who don't make it, who can't tell their stories anymore. By spreading the word of Extra Life, by connecting directly with patients and families and those affected by the hospitals, I can help spread those stories. I can help these kids become legends, passing their legacies on to those who may not know why what we do is so important. It's all, and always has been, #forthekids.

Extra Life is more than a game marathon. It may have started that way, but today, thousands of participants across the world (because yes, we have fundraisers in other countries too!) are raising money all year long for their chosen hospital. People stream, and host events, and do crazy things like shave their heads and eat an unhealthy amount of chimichangas (more on that later!), all to raise money. And every penny goes to the hospital. Extra Life isn't just a marathon; it's a movement.

And this game is NOT over.

How you can help:

  1. Make a donation. Even a few dollars can help a family afford medical equipment, or get the long term patients wing some entertainment the kids need to live some semblance of a normal life.

  2. Sign up for Extra Life. The average donation is somewhere in the area of $32, but participants raise an average of $200 each year for their hospital. If you can't afford a donation, sign up for your own page and reach out to your own community and followers. If you're honest and heartfelt, people come out of the woodwork to help.

  3. Share my stuff. If you can't afford to donate, and you can't dedicate the time to join yourself, a simple sharing of this page or my social media posts takes seconds but can help me bring in valuable donations for Boston Children's Hospital.

Boston Guild

I'm honored to have been the Boston Guild Vice President for the past two years, and I'm really looking forward to making a difference with the Guild in 2019! If you're interested in doing more than just raising money for Boston Children's Hospital, introduce yourself in the Boston Guild forums, the Facebook group, and the Discord server. We'll get you going!

Some facts:

  • Extra Life is a 24-hour fundraising and gaming marathon to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
  • On Game Day (Nov. 3rd), I will join the thousands of gamers and dedicate an entire day to play games and get donations from friends like YOU!
  • 100% of the donations go to my local hospital. TOGETHER we will make a difference for sick kids!

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. 

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