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I Extra Life to Give Back to the Hospital That Cared for Me


StarkleSparkle

Article written by Jeremy Woodbridge, also known as Kiyakou, a second-year participant who plays for OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

 

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My life completely changed two weeks before my 16th birthday. I had a pain in my stomach, that no matter how much I vomited, kept getting worse. We left for the nearest general hospital where they discovered a bowel blockage. For the rest of that week they only allowed me to suck on sponges for water as they painfully installed a NG tube in my nose to remove the loose blockage from my stomach.

 

The tests and x-rays were painful, the surgery was long and painful, and I felt like it would never end. On my 16th birthday, a doctor came to my room and delivered the news to me that the blockage was caused by inflammation due to Crohn's disease. My parents were in tears. I was too weak to cry from the news I was hearing. My life was had turned upside down.

 

When released they gave me no aftercare advice or medicine to help me in preventing future flare ups. One month later I was already experiencing a flare up and I can remember begging my parents that I was not ready for another 2 weeks of hell with the hospital. My parents decided right there we needed to change hospitals.

 

When I arrived at Doernbecher Children’s hospital, I was treated with such kindness and sympathy and I could see the relief on my parents faces when they saw how I was treated. I was in less pain and felt hopeful again. This was everything to me. In the hospital, I used video games as therapy to remove myself from my current situation and would love talking to the nurses of what I was playing at the time. I felt like I could be a kid again. I got the care that lead to my remission today thanks to them.

 

I started streaming  in March of 2016. When I was slowly building a following, I started to understand that I could impact the lives of those who watched me. I thought maybe a charity stream would be the best way to promote positivity and help people in need. I remember asking my friend “HAVOK” who was a partner at the time what he suggested for charities, that was when I learned about Extra Life.

 

I was excited to learn that I could select specific hospitals. To my discovery I found one that impacted my life the most as a child, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. At that moment, I knew this charity was perfect for me. I played my 24 hours and although I was exhausted, I felt a great sense of victory. The money I raised would go to a hospital that if they didn’t exist, I would not be here today.

 

Within a few months of streaming, I made friends with a few other small streamers “RLrichey” and “SakuraTsubasa”. We made a stream team called “Captains O’ Booty” and raised $2.5k for charity. Knowing what we just accomplished meant the world to me.

 

Thanks to Extra Life, I now have the chance to give back to a hospital that cared so much for me and helped me be here today. Thank you Doernbecher and thank you Extra Life for this opportunity.

 

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