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Chris Gardner

Extra Life 2019

On November 2nd, I'll be playing games for 25 hours to raise funds for sick kids at my local children's hospital!

62 children enter treatment at a Children's Miracle Network Hospital every minute. If we expand that to the past month, 2.75x the population of North Alabama enter treatment.

It may sound like I'm trying to have fun by playing games for 25 hours. It is more than that. I am using my time and body as a catalyst. I am putting my passion to work for a cause. I am turning my love into something tangible.

I have been campaigning and fighting to give these children a chance for years. I have been asking you to help me support these children and families. I've been putting in countless hours of talking to people, impassioned emails, and carefully constructed tweets. I have been fighting with cutting edge, and sometimes expensive, technology to try to provide live streams of my marathons. I yearly put my body through 24 or 25 hours of no sleep (and slightly more if you consider setup and tear down.)

I do this to represent the countless hours these families sit awake at their children's side.


I've been to Children's of Alabama. I had to take my youngest daughter there to verify she did not have Cystic Fibrosis. I was "lucky." She is just a carrier.

While I was there, I saw things. I saw child after child after child waiting for their appointment. I saw the most sublime displays of children's art juxtaposed with hospital sterilization that I could ever possibly imagine. I saw and heard things that only occur in the nightmares of parents, and I was only in the waiting rooms.

But I will never forget the 10-ish year old girl that came in for her regularly scheduled dialysis appointment ... as if it was just another Friday afternoon. She had her school books, a little snack, a book to read for pleasure, and a DVD, in case she finished her homework a little early. You know, everything you'd need for an afternoon hooked up to a huge medical machine that going to clean out all the toxins in your blood. As she entered the secured area, she warmly greeted all the doctors and nurses with the same familiarity that I would greet the staff of my favorite coffee shop as I stopped in for my morning cup of coffee.

I don't know the status of that little girl. I don't know if she's healthy or, quite frankly, alive. I don't even know her name, as I only heard it in passing for the 37 seconds our paths crossed. However, I do remember being incredibly moved and touched by her upbeat attitude about the situations, and I hope that my efforts for all these years got her, in some way, a little comfort.

And, if she is still with us, I hope we can get her a little more.

Here's how it works

  • Extra Life is a 25-hour fundraising and gaming marathon to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

  • On Game Day (Nov. 2nd), 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.

Together, we can do something great.

Together, we can make a difference.

Together, we all stand tall.

Thank you.

Chris Gardner


Get The Word Out