StarkleSparkle

Extra Life Team
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Everything posted by StarkleSparkle

  1. A true advocate, Alyssa speaks openly and frequently about her struggles with mental illness. "Everyone has issues," she says. "At least I know what mine are." Since Alyssa's diagnosis at age 3, when her tantrums lasted for hours and she refused to sleep, she's made incredible strides. Coping techniques, biweekly counseling, a restrictive diet, daily medication and supplements help her handle the ups and downs of life. When Alyssa feels out of control, she goes to Cincinnati Children's mental health treatment facility. Though she doesn't look forward to these visits, she knows the staff there will love and support her until she is able to keep herself and others safe. At school, Alyssa is excelling, especially in math and reading. She loves volunteering as a peer tutor for kids with special needs. Alyssa's teachers say she has a special gift for communicating with these students, demonstrating empathy beyond her year. HOW DONATIONS HELPED ALYSSA: Funds raised through Extra Life help CMN Hospitals fund the most immediate need for local kids. In Cincinnati, Extra Life funds have been able to help the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital general fund, which supports the residential treatment facility that helps youth manage mental illness through healthy decision making, appropriate communication and behaviors. All which help kids like Alyssa, live healthy and productive lives.
  2. A true advocate, Alyssa speaks openly and frequently about her struggles with mental illness. "Everyone has issues," she says. "At least I know what mine are." Since Alyssa's diagnosis at age 3, when her tantrums lasted for hours and she refused to sleep, she's made incredible strides. Coping techniques, biweekly counseling, a restrictive diet, daily medication and supplements help her handle the ups and downs of life. When Alyssa feels out of control, she goes to Cincinnati Children's mental health treatment facility. Though she doesn't look forward to these visits, she knows the staff there will love and support her until she is able to keep herself and others safe. At school, Alyssa is excelling, especially in math and reading. She loves volunteering as a peer tutor for kids with special needs. Alyssa's teachers say she has a special gift for communicating with these students, demonstrating empathy beyond her year. HOW DONATIONS HELPED ALYSSA: Funds raised through Extra Life help CMN Hospitals fund the most immediate need for local kids. In Cincinnati, Extra Life funds have been able to help the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital general fund, which supports the residential treatment facility that helps youth manage mental illness through healthy decision making, appropriate communication and behaviors. All which help kids like Alyssa, live healthy and productive lives. View full article
  3. Winner Winner Ice Cream Dinner

    On Miracle Treat Day, we turn our chicken dinners into ice cream dinners For The Kids! Mark your calendars! Miracle Treat Day is coming up. U.S. Dairy Queen Locations: Thursday, July 27 Canada Dairy Queen Locations: Thursday, August 10 Join Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and select Dairy Queen locations as we celebrate Miracle Treat Day. For every Blizzard sold, $1 or more will be donated to CMN Hospitals. As with Extra Life, funds stay local to benefit the local member hospital and help kids with healthcare treatments and services, equipment, and charitable care. Our Extra Life team will be stopping by select locations to pick up our favorite flavor and enjoy the day. Twitch and Extra Life partner, Aureylian will host a meet and greet Thursday, July 27 at the Dairy Queen in Granite City from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Comment below to let us know how you plan to celebrate Miracle Treat Day and Find a participating store near you!
  4. On Miracle Treat Day, we turn our chicken dinners into ice cream dinners For The Kids! Mark your calendars! Miracle Treat Day is coming up. U.S. Dairy Queen Locations: Thursday, July 27 Canada Dairy Queen Locations: Thursday, August 10 Join Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and select Dairy Queen locations as we celebrate Miracle Treat Day. For every Blizzard sold, $1 or more will be donated to CMN Hospitals. As with Extra Life, funds stay local to benefit the local member hospital and help kids with healthcare treatments and services, equipment, and charitable care. Our Extra Life team will be stopping by select locations to pick up our favorite flavor and enjoy the day. Twitch and Extra Life partner, Aureylian will host a meet and greet Thursday, July 27 at the Dairy Queen in Granite City from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Comment below to let us know how you plan to celebrate Miracle Treat Day and Find a participating store near you! View full article
  5. Recognizing the need to have patients challenged and motivated to work day-to-day, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has found the right tool to help measure movement with muscular dystrophy patients – video games. Patients with muscular dystrophy lose mobility over time, and patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a type that is most common in children, specifically young boys, become weaker over time, slowly unable to feed themselves and other tasks. So, researchers at Nationwide Children’s have worked with a local game developer, Chris Volpe of Mulitvarious Games to develop a way to measure upper extremity movement in patients using interactive game technology. The game allows the boys to dig and look for hidden gems, as well as squash spiders. It requires the boys to reach with their arms in various directions and push force fields, allowing researchers to measure their movement. Spending hours doing physical movement is hard on the patients, and the game is the perfect solution that allows them to just play and be kids. Volpe, front middle is the game developer and over the Game Developers Association of Ohio. He leads the Ohio Game Developers Expo each year. The association donates a portion of ticket sales from this event to Extra Life.
  6. Recognizing the need to have patients challenged and motivated to work day-to-day, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has found the right tool to help measure movement with muscular dystrophy patients – video games. Patients with muscular dystrophy lose mobility over time, and patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a type that is most common in children, specifically young boys, become weaker over time, slowly unable to feed themselves and other tasks. So, researchers at Nationwide Children’s have worked with a local game developer, Chris Volpe of Mulitvarious Games to develop a way to measure upper extremity movement in patients using interactive game technology. The game allows the boys to dig and look for hidden gems, as well as squash spiders. It requires the boys to reach with their arms in various directions and push force fields, allowing researchers to measure their movement. Spending hours doing physical movement is hard on the patients, and the game is the perfect solution that allows them to just play and be kids. Volpe, front middle is the game developer and over the Game Developers Association of Ohio. He leads the Ohio Game Developers Expo each year. The association donates a portion of ticket sales from this event to Extra Life. View full article
  7. America’s Got Talent Guest Judge Chris Hardwick gave the golden buzzer to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Miracle Child, Angelica Hale Tuesday night. The Nerdist community has teamed up with the Geek & Sundry community to participate in Extra Life, and have raised more than $100,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. All funds raised through Extra Life stay local to benefit patient care, critical treatments and healthcare services. Angelica is one example of how donations help kids. Treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Angelica is a Kidney transplant survivor able to perform and live out her dream of becoming the next Whitney Houston. Angelica travels the country, using her voice to raise funds and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Thanks to Hardwick’s golden buzzer, Angelica advances in America’s Got Talent to the live shows. In her own words, “I want to win so I can help more kids like me.” Watch her incredible performance below! Help Extra Life and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals support Angelica. Tune in August 15th at 8/7 Central to vote!
  8. America’s Got Talent Guest Judge Chris Hardwick gave the golden buzzer to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Miracle Child, Angelica Hale Tuesday night. The Nerdist community has teamed up with the Geek & Sundry community to participate in Extra Life, and have raised more than $100,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. All funds raised through Extra Life stay local to benefit patient care, critical treatments and healthcare services. Angelica is one example of how donations help kids. Treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Angelica is a Kidney transplant survivor able to perform and live out her dream of becoming the next Whitney Houston. Angelica travels the country, using her voice to raise funds and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Thanks to Hardwick’s golden buzzer, Angelica advances in America’s Got Talent to the live shows. In her own words, “I want to win so I can help more kids like me.” Watch her incredible performance below! Help Extra Life and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals support Angelica. Tune in August 15th at 8/7 Central to vote! View full article
  9. Article written by Robert Sullivan, a second-year participant who plays for Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation I am Robert Sullivan and I am 14 years old. My little brother Steven is one of the Canadian Champion Children. I joined Extra Life a year ago and I have been enjoying it ever since. When my brother was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, I was devastated. Cancer spreads to everyone in the family, not just the person who has it. I also have severe anxiety so I get stressed easily and have panic attacks if I get to scared or overwhelmed. I wanted to help raise money for kids who didn't have enough money for treatments, trips, games, and gaming consoles and one day my dad gets an email from the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation about Extra Life, so I joined and started streaming. I was watching the ExtraLife4Kids channel on Twitch and asked the streamer if there was a server for Extra Lifers to play Minecraft on. She responded no, so I created one in 1.8. The server will be up 24/7 unless my computer updates or is down for maintenance. Anyone can record, livestream, play etc. Since my brother Steven is the Champion for Newfoundland and Labrador, we were able to go to Ottawa and Florida for the Champions trip and Children’s Hospitals Week. We attended Extra Life United 2017 and I met my favorite streamer Sevadus! I also had met another Newfoundland streamer his name is Nathan Roberts aka Noofynate. He is good friends with me and my family and we played games at Extra Life United. He is a kind and open hearted person. I want people to be just like that and most of them are! So, that is how I joined Extra Life! Ip for the server is: ExtraLifeFactions.myserver.gs. On the server there is a shop, custom plugin, vaults and enchants! View full article
  10. I Extra Life for My Brother

    Article written by Robert Sullivan, a second-year participant who plays for Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation I am Robert Sullivan and I am 14 years old. My little brother Steven is one of the Canadian Champion Children. I joined Extra Life a year ago and I have been enjoying it ever since. When my brother was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, I was devastated. Cancer spreads to everyone in the family, not just the person who has it. I also have severe anxiety so I get stressed easily and have panic attacks if I get to scared or overwhelmed. I wanted to help raise money for kids who didn't have enough money for treatments, trips, games, and gaming consoles and one day my dad gets an email from the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation about Extra Life, so I joined and started streaming. I was watching the ExtraLife4Kids channel on Twitch and asked the streamer if there was a server for Extra Lifers to play Minecraft on. She responded no, so I created one in 1.8. The server will be up 24/7 unless my computer updates or is down for maintenance. Anyone can record, livestream, play etc. Since my brother Steven is the Champion for Newfoundland and Labrador, we were able to go to Ottawa and Florida for the Champions trip and Children’s Hospitals Week. We attended Extra Life United 2017 and I met my favorite streamer Sevadus! I also had met another Newfoundland streamer his name is Nathan Roberts aka Noofynate. He is good friends with me and my family and we played games at Extra Life United. He is a kind and open hearted person. I want people to be just like that and most of them are! So, that is how I joined Extra Life! Ip for the server is: ExtraLifeFactions.myserver.gs. On the server there is a shop, custom plugin, vaults and enchants!
  11. Article written by Jamie Studzinski, a fifth-year participant who plays for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin About eight years ago, while working at Wal-Mart, I had a chance to visit Phoenix Children's Hospital in Arizona as part of a fundraising campaign for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. I saw how comfortable the children were there, as much as being at home. We were showed how the fundraising donations were used and how it helped the children and families. At that point, I was wondering what more I could do. And then I thought back to my brother, Jeremy, who had cancer at an early stage. He was admitted to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin where he received treatment and was cured of his cancer. All this happened before I was born. And it's thanks to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin that I am able to say that he is still around today. When I heard about Extra Life, it seemed like a no brainer to me. Gaming was a huge part of my life, and my brothers when we were growing up; from video games to board games to card games, we played it all. To do what I love to do and help children and families in need, just seemed like a win-win situation to me. I am part of an Extra Life team. Our team name is Phoenix Down, because we are giving kids a second chance. We are changing lives. And I think that name speaks a ton to what we are doing. Last year we raised over $5K for Children's Hospital and I couldn't be more proud of the team and commitment they made! I've been doing Extra Life for five years now, and I occasionally stream for the Extra Life stream team. Its been the best experience that I can say I ever had in my life. Thank you everyone who does extra life and makes a difference!" Right now my favorite game to play is Overwatch, I have spent countless hours in the game and it really is the back bone of my charity streams. View full article
  12. Article written by Jamie Studzinski, a fifth-year participant who plays for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin About eight years ago, while working at Wal-Mart, I had a chance to visit Phoenix Children's Hospital in Arizona as part of a fundraising campaign for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. I saw how comfortable the children were there, as much as being at home. We were showed how the fundraising donations were used and how it helped the children and families. At that point, I was wondering what more I could do. And then I thought back to my brother, Jeremy, who had cancer at an early stage. He was admitted to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin where he received treatment and was cured of his cancer. All this happened before I was born. And it's thanks to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin that I am able to say that he is still around today. When I heard about Extra Life, it seemed like a no brainer to me. Gaming was a huge part of my life, and my brothers when we were growing up; from video games to board games to card games, we played it all. To do what I love to do and help children and families in need, just seemed like a win-win situation to me. I am part of an Extra Life team. Our team name is Phoenix Down, because we are giving kids a second chance. We are changing lives. And I think that name speaks a ton to what we are doing. Last year we raised over $5K for Children's Hospital and I couldn't be more proud of the team and commitment they made! I've been doing Extra Life for five years now, and I occasionally stream for the Extra Life stream team. Its been the best experience that I can say I ever had in my life. Thank you everyone who does extra life and makes a difference!" Right now my favorite game to play is Overwatch, I have spent countless hours in the game and it really is the back bone of my charity streams.
  13. Mariann Villafane teaches her students about philanthropy and fundraising through classroom activities. She encourages her students to create several fundraising activities for 10 weeks, ending with one big event, Play for a Cure. As part of the Extra Life program, the students play games throughout the evening and then reveal the final amount raised during the school year. She does this because of her belief to teach students far beyond the text book. “It is my goal at the end of our school year, our students will be engaged with Extra Life and our local hospital,” says Villafane. At the closing of the project, she takes her students to the local CMN Hospital, San Jorge Children’s Foundation to see first-hand the impact of their donations. “As long as I can, I will keep up with this amazing project in my school.” View full article
  14. Mariann Villafane teaches her students about philanthropy and fundraising through classroom activities. She encourages her students to create several fundraising activities for 10 weeks, ending with one big event, Play for a Cure. As part of the Extra Life program, the students play games throughout the evening and then reveal the final amount raised during the school year. She does this because of her belief to teach students far beyond the text book. “It is my goal at the end of our school year, our students will be engaged with Extra Life and our local hospital,” says Villafane. At the closing of the project, she takes her students to the local CMN Hospital, San Jorge Children’s Foundation to see first-hand the impact of their donations. “As long as I can, I will keep up with this amazing project in my school.”
  15. We're proud to announce the recipient of the 2016 Victoria Enmon Award, Betsy Rand, program director at Seattle Children's Hospital. Betsy was presented the award at Extra Life United, during #ChildrensHospitalsWeek during the Evening of Celebration on Thursday, March 23. The Victoria Enmon Award is presented to a CMN Hospitals program director who embodies the spirit of Victoria. Victoria’s battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia inspired the Extra Life movement. Throughout her battle, Victoria remained strong and an inspiration to others. Extra’s Life success is in part because of the CMN Hospitals program directors who work tirelessly with guilds to recruit and grow Extra Life efforts in their hospital market area. Betsy attended multiple events throughout the year, including PAX West, where she helped the guild recruit over 1,200 Extra Lifers in one weekend. Betsy has worked with her hospitals social media team to increase social awareness around Extra Life, always has a great outlook and makes the program better as a whole. View full article
  16. We're proud to announce the recipient of the 2016 Victoria Enmon Award, Betsy Rand, program director at Seattle Children's Hospital. Betsy was presented the award at Extra Life United, during #ChildrensHospitalsWeek during the Evening of Celebration on Thursday, March 23. The Victoria Enmon Award is presented to a CMN Hospitals program director who embodies the spirit of Victoria. Victoria’s battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia inspired the Extra Life movement. Throughout her battle, Victoria remained strong and an inspiration to others. Extra’s Life success is in part because of the CMN Hospitals program directors who work tirelessly with guilds to recruit and grow Extra Life efforts in their hospital market area. Betsy attended multiple events throughout the year, including PAX West, where she helped the guild recruit over 1,200 Extra Lifers in one weekend. Betsy has worked with her hospitals social media team to increase social awareness around Extra Life, always has a great outlook and makes the program better as a whole.
  17. The Entertainment Software Association Foundation honored Extra Life founder Jeromy Adams at its Nite to Unite gala on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The Nite to Unite gala honors leaders and visionaries in the gaming industry that are making a profound difference. The Visionary Award was given to Adams to recognize him for mobilizing a community of gamers that have raised over $30 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. “Jeromy Adams is a visionary in the video game community," said ESA Foundation Executive Director Anastasia Staten in a statement. "Not only does he have big ideas, he has a big heart to match. Jeromy and the community participating in Extra Life to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals show the power of video gamers coming together to make a difference in the lives of countless children, friends and families across the country. In their hands, a game controller isn’t just a tool of entertainment, but is a tool of healing and a source of hope. The ESA Foundation is proud to support this incredible problem, helping to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals all across the country.” Adams first created Extra Life when he was a radio host in Houston, Texas. As part of the annual Radiothon program that benefitted Texas Children’s Hospital, he met Tori – the inspiration behind Extra Life. Tori was 11 years old at the time and battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Adams and Tori quickly bonded over a mutual passion of video games. Shortly after her passing Adams had an idea – why not have gamers do what they do best, while raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to benefit more kids like Tori? And Extra Life was born. When asked about the experience, Jeromy applauds the passionate and generous gaming community saying, “It’s just something I did with 55,000 friends.” View full article
  18. The Entertainment Software Association Foundation honored Extra Life founder Jeromy Adams at its Nite to Unite gala on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The Nite to Unite gala honors leaders and visionaries in the gaming industry that are making a profound difference. The Visionary Award was given to Adams to recognize him for mobilizing a community of gamers that have raised over $30 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. “Jeromy Adams is a visionary in the video game community," said ESA Foundation Executive Director Anastasia Staten in a statement. "Not only does he have big ideas, he has a big heart to match. Jeromy and the community participating in Extra Life to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals show the power of video gamers coming together to make a difference in the lives of countless children, friends and families across the country. In their hands, a game controller isn’t just a tool of entertainment, but is a tool of healing and a source of hope. The ESA Foundation is proud to support this incredible problem, helping to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals all across the country.” Adams first created Extra Life when he was a radio host in Houston, Texas. As part of the annual Radiothon program that benefitted Texas Children’s Hospital, he met Tori – the inspiration behind Extra Life. Tori was 11 years old at the time and battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Adams and Tori quickly bonded over a mutual passion of video games. Shortly after her passing Adams had an idea – why not have gamers do what they do best, while raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to benefit more kids like Tori? And Extra Life was born. When asked about the experience, Jeromy applauds the passionate and generous gaming community saying, “It’s just something I did with 55,000 friends.”
  19. Congratulations Extra Lifers! You've helped raise $30 million since Extra Life started back in 2008 and have made a huge impact on your local CMN Hospital - funding numerous programs, equipment and charitable care. To help celebrate the miracles you’ve made, here are 10 of the top miracles $30 million made happen at your local hospitals. 10. You Have Made Child-Sized Veins Easier to Find CMN Hospitals treat children of all ages and sizes – from the tiniest newborns – to teenagers and beyond. Vein illuminators assist with IV insertion in pediatric patients, making it easier to find veins on the first try, reducing the number of stick attempts for the children. This means more accuracy and less pain. Vein Illuminators are valued in the $20,000 range. With funds raised through Extra Life, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and McLane Scott and White Children’s Hospital were able to purchase Vein Illuminators. 9. You’ve Helped Children Understand and Process their Treatment Plans Hospital experiences are unpleasant enough. For a child, they can be especially frightening and stressful. At all our member hospitals, Extra Life has funded Child Life services. Child Life specialists are specially trained and certified to help children and families cope with the stress and anxiety of hospitalization. For example, Extra Life funds have helped Child Life fund Teddy Bear Clinic at UF Health Shands in Florida. Powie, the bear from Teddy Bear Clinic helps kids understand the different treatments and how they are performed. In the above photos, Powie and a Child Life Specialist are showing a child patient how an IV is placed. Powie is also wearing Oxygen and a feeding tube to help ease the patient's fears and questions about what happens next. 8. You Have Provided Charity Care for Patients and Families Some families have high deductibles, high co-payments, or no coverage at all. All CMN Hospitals treat every child, regardless of the family's ability to pay. Gillette Children’s in Minneapolis, MN shares how this works: “In some cases, many private and public insurance providers don’t cover all the specialty services provided. Extra Life dollars in Minneapolis are used to fund the Gillette Assistance Program (GAP), our financial assistance program for families who can’t afford cost of care. Any Gillette patient can apply for GAP, whether they have health insurance or not.” Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide $3.4 billion in charity care annually. The funds you raised have made, and continue to make, a crucial impact on families who need assistance. 7. You’ve Made Hospitals More Child-Friendly Children are not just small adults. That is why children’s hospitals exist just for them. Children’s hospitals ensure that every staff member is focused on pediatric care, knowing exactly how to work with, and calm children from every stage of the treatment process. One of the first stages of treatment is simply to help the hospital look less scary. Extra Life funds have been used in your community to help the hospital look more fun and exciting to kids. Extra Life funds helped The CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation take on a special project to make the Emergency Department more pediatric friendly. The project resulted in 7 art murals being installed, as well as coloring books and stickers created from the art. From murals, to child-friendly playrooms and outdoor spaces to help kids play while at the hospital, Extra Lifers have helped provide it all. 6. You Have Kept Patient Services Free for Families CMN Hospitals treat children and families beyond their medical care. Hospital staff are trained to care for the developmental and emotional needs of children in addition to their physical needs. Our hospitals design programs that meet all the emotional needs of the family, which can’t be reimbursed by insurance. Child Life, pastoral care and case management as shown above, are all examples of non-billable services that receive support from Extra Life and aid hospitals in keeping these programs free for families. For example, Extra Life funds in Ft. Worth, TX have helped Cook Children’s provide case workers to assist patient families with lodging, transportation and meal cards. Chaplains can visit with families in times of trial or grief. The families are touched by those services, and will never have to see a bill for them. Cook Children’s is just one of many of our member hospitals that have used Extra Life funds for these types of programs. 5. You’ve Helped the Natural World and Technology Age Collide for Hospitals The benefits of pet therapy are well-documented. Interacting with a friendly pet can help many physical and mental issues. It helps reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. It can release endorphins that produce a calming effect. Some environments, such as hospitals pose a challenge for the use of live animals. EMHS Foundation in Bangor, ME has used Extra Life funds to provide interactive robots that look like baby harp seals and play a role in pet therapy sessions. By interacting with people, the robotic seals respond as if they are alive, moving their heads and legs, and making sounds. The seals are proving effective at easing anxiety and improving patient’s ability to process feelings of sadness, loss, grief and trauma. Kids are able to calm down quicker and engage in therapy session with better outcomes. 4. You Have Helped Kids stay on track at School Lengthy hospital stays or treatments can keep kids out of the classroom. However, funds raised through Extra Life have helped kids stay on track at school. In Atlanta, Extra Life funds have provided teachers that help kids while in the hospital, and help them transition back to their school when they leave the facilities. The teachers work with school systems to make sure the kids are on the most appropriate school track based on the child's physical and neurological recovery. For example, a high school student taking three AP classes prior to a traumatic brain injury may not need to return immediately to those AP classes. 3. You Provided Ambulance Incubators for Newborn Transport The critical care teams at member CMN Hospitals are available to provide state-of-the-art care and transportation to pediatric patients. Team members include specially trained pediatric registered nurses and paramedics. Each team member not only needs to have neonatal and pediatric critical care experience as well as additional training, they also need to be equipped with specialty equipment to transport patients from prematurity through adolescence. An example of Extra Life funds in action is shared from the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. Extra Life funds have purchased an ambulance incubator for their critical care transportation team. This machine allows the tiniest of patients to be transported safely with the right life-saving equipment. 2. You’ve Helped Redefine In-Home Care for High-Risk Cardiology Patients The first time parents are able to take their child home from the hospital is an incredibly happy moment. For congenital heart families, that moment also brings stress and responsibility. Funds raised through Extra Life have helped families and doctors monitor cardiology patients at home by funding the Building HOPE program at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. The Building HOPE program allows families and doctors to work together to monitor pediatric cardiology patients once they leave the hospital. Vitals such as oxygen levels, weight, and food and liquid intake data is sent through secure transmission to the team at UVA, who monitor the data in real-time. This allows critical issues to be detected before an emergency arises. Home monitoring programs like this have helped increase the percentage of congenital heart defect patients live safely in their homes from 75% to over 95%. 1. You Have Provided the Power of Mission Critical Funds No day at a CMN Hospitals is ever the same. The needs of patients, new research, emerging technology and growing programs all mean one thing: our hospitals are constantly changing. The number one way Extra Life impacts CMN Hospitals is through the power of mission critical funds. The $30 million you have raised has given our hospitals the flexibility to meet and fund these changing needs as they arise. “Some of the most valuable gifts we receive are those that are unrestricted and can be applied to the areas where the need is the greatest.” - Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas. Thank you for saving the lives of sick and injured kids in your community! Mike, Liz, Jeromy, Julie, Brooke & Cindee Team Extra Life Children's Miracle Network Hospitals View full article
  20. Congratulations Extra Lifers! You've helped raise $30 million since Extra Life started back in 2008 and have made a huge impact on your local CMN Hospital - funding numerous programs, equipment and charitable care. To help celebrate the miracles you’ve made, here are 10 of the top miracles $30 million made happen at your local hospitals. 10. You Have Made Child-Sized Veins Easier to Find CMN Hospitals treat children of all ages and sizes – from the tiniest newborns – to teenagers and beyond. Vein illuminators assist with IV insertion in pediatric patients, making it easier to find veins on the first try, reducing the number of stick attempts for the children. This means more accuracy and less pain. Vein Illuminators are valued in the $20,000 range. With funds raised through Extra Life, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and McLane Scott and White Children’s Hospital were able to purchase Vein Illuminators. 9. You’ve Helped Children Understand and Process their Treatment Plans Hospital experiences are unpleasant enough. For a child, they can be especially frightening and stressful. At all our member hospitals, Extra Life has funded Child Life services. Child Life specialists are specially trained and certified to help children and families cope with the stress and anxiety of hospitalization. For example, Extra Life funds have helped Child Life fund Teddy Bear Clinic at UF Health Shands in Florida. Powie, the bear from Teddy Bear Clinic helps kids understand the different treatments and how they are performed. In the above photos, Powie and a Child Life Specialist are showing a child patient how an IV is placed. Powie is also wearing Oxygen and a feeding tube to help ease the patient's fears and questions about what happens next. 8. You Have Provided Charity Care for Patients and Families Some families have high deductibles, high co-payments, or no coverage at all. All CMN Hospitals treat every child, regardless of the family's ability to pay. Gillette Children’s in Minneapolis, MN shares how this works: “In some cases, many private and public insurance providers don’t cover all the specialty services provided. Extra Life dollars in Minneapolis are used to fund the Gillette Assistance Program (GAP), our financial assistance program for families who can’t afford cost of care. Any Gillette patient can apply for GAP, whether they have health insurance or not.” Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide $3.4 billion in charity care annually. The funds you raised have made, and continue to make, a crucial impact on families who need assistance. 7. You’ve Made Hospitals More Child-Friendly Children are not just small adults. That is why children’s hospitals exist just for them. Children’s hospitals ensure that every staff member is focused on pediatric care, knowing exactly how to work with, and calm children from every stage of the treatment process. One of the first stages of treatment is simply to help the hospital look less scary. Extra Life funds have been used in your community to help the hospital look more fun and exciting to kids. Extra Life funds helped The CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation take on a special project to make the Emergency Department more pediatric friendly. The project resulted in 7 art murals being installed, as well as coloring books and stickers created from the art. From murals, to child-friendly playrooms and outdoor spaces to help kids play while at the hospital, Extra Lifers have helped provide it all. 6. You Have Kept Patient Services Free for Families CMN Hospitals treat children and families beyond their medical care. Hospital staff are trained to care for the developmental and emotional needs of children in addition to their physical needs. Our hospitals design programs that meet all the emotional needs of the family, which can’t be reimbursed by insurance. Child Life, pastoral care and case management as shown above, are all examples of non-billable services that receive support from Extra Life and aid hospitals in keeping these programs free for families. For example, Extra Life funds in Ft. Worth, TX have helped Cook Children’s provide case workers to assist patient families with lodging, transportation and meal cards. Chaplains can visit with families in times of trial or grief. The families are touched by those services, and will never have to see a bill for them. Cook Children’s is just one of many of our member hospitals that have used Extra Life funds for these types of programs. 5. You’ve Helped the Natural World and Technology Age Collide for Hospitals The benefits of pet therapy are well-documented. Interacting with a friendly pet can help many physical and mental issues. It helps reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. It can release endorphins that produce a calming effect. Some environments, such as hospitals pose a challenge for the use of live animals. EMHS Foundation in Bangor, ME has used Extra Life funds to provide interactive robots that look like baby harp seals and play a role in pet therapy sessions. By interacting with people, the robotic seals respond as if they are alive, moving their heads and legs, and making sounds. The seals are proving effective at easing anxiety and improving patient’s ability to process feelings of sadness, loss, grief and trauma. Kids are able to calm down quicker and engage in therapy session with better outcomes. 4. You Have Helped Kids stay on track at School Lengthy hospital stays or treatments can keep kids out of the classroom. However, funds raised through Extra Life have helped kids stay on track at school. In Atlanta, Extra Life funds have provided teachers that help kids while in the hospital, and help them transition back to their school when they leave the facilities. The teachers work with school systems to make sure the kids are on the most appropriate school track based on the child's physical and neurological recovery. For example, a high school student taking three AP classes prior to a traumatic brain injury may not need to return immediately to those AP classes. 3. You Provided Ambulance Incubators for Newborn Transport The critical care teams at member CMN Hospitals are available to provide state-of-the-art care and transportation to pediatric patients. Team members include specially trained pediatric registered nurses and paramedics. Each team member not only needs to have neonatal and pediatric critical care experience as well as additional training, they also need to be equipped with specialty equipment to transport patients from prematurity through adolescence. An example of Extra Life funds in action is shared from the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. Extra Life funds have purchased an ambulance incubator for their critical care transportation team. This machine allows the tiniest of patients to be transported safely with the right life-saving equipment. 2. You’ve Helped Redefine In-Home Care for High-Risk Cardiology Patients The first time parents are able to take their child home from the hospital is an incredibly happy moment. For congenital heart families, that moment also brings stress and responsibility. Funds raised through Extra Life have helped families and doctors monitor cardiology patients at home by funding the Building HOPE program at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. The Building HOPE program allows families and doctors to work together to monitor pediatric cardiology patients once they leave the hospital. Vitals such as oxygen levels, weight, and food and liquid intake data is sent through secure transmission to the team at UVA, who monitor the data in real-time. This allows critical issues to be detected before an emergency arises. Home monitoring programs like this have helped increase the percentage of congenital heart defect patients live safely in their homes from 75% to over 95%. 1. You Have Provided the Power of Mission Critical Funds No day at a CMN Hospitals is ever the same. The needs of patients, new research, emerging technology and growing programs all mean one thing: our hospitals are constantly changing. The number one way Extra Life impacts CMN Hospitals is through the power of mission critical funds. The $30 million you have raised has given our hospitals the flexibility to meet and fund these changing needs as they arise. “Some of the most valuable gifts we receive are those that are unrestricted and can be applied to the areas where the need is the greatest.” - Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas. Thank you for saving the lives of sick and injured kids in your community! Mike, Liz, Jeromy, Julie, Brooke & Cindee Team Extra Life Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
  21. Article written by Doug T., a second-year participant who plays for Children's National Health System. 2017 will be my second year participating in this amazing project, and I'm personally playing for Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC. Having been born with spina bifida, I have needed the services of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals many times in my youth. They were always there for me, and I am eternally grateful to them for essentially keeping me alive. With the somewhat unpredictable nature of spina bifida, doctors were not sure how long I'd live when I was born. Through the help and amazing treatment from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, I am proud to say that I just celebrated my 40th birthday last month, and I have no intentions of slowing down. I've seen the amazing and heartwarming support that Extra Life garners, and I love being a part of this community of gamers. My team and I had a blast last year, and are looking forward to many more to come! EXTRA LIFE PLAYER STATS Team Name: Speedercrash Team Goal: $1,000 View full article
  22. Article written by Doug T., a second-year participant who plays for Children's National Health System. 2017 will be my second year participating in this amazing project, and I'm personally playing for Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC. Having been born with spina bifida, I have needed the services of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals many times in my youth. They were always there for me, and I am eternally grateful to them for essentially keeping me alive. With the somewhat unpredictable nature of spina bifida, doctors were not sure how long I'd live when I was born. Through the help and amazing treatment from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, I am proud to say that I just celebrated my 40th birthday last month, and I have no intentions of slowing down. I've seen the amazing and heartwarming support that Extra Life garners, and I love being a part of this community of gamers. My team and I had a blast last year, and are looking forward to many more to come! EXTRA LIFE PLAYER STATS Team Name: Speedercrash Team Goal: $1,000
  23. On October 4th 2016, we lost a special member of our Extra Life community, Christien Quiles. Christien is a perfect example of what a beautiful difference one person can make in the lives of others. Christien made it his mission to improve the lives of patients at McLane Children’s Hospital. As a teen patient battling osteosarcoma, Christien felt everything was centered around his illness, and he recognized the need for teen patients to enjoy regular social experiences while in the hospital. He took the initiative to meet other teens in the hospital and form a group. It started with creating friendships, monthly meetings and discussion of how they could make their hospital even better. Through Christien’s dedication to giving all teens in the hospital a voice, his social circle grew to becoming an official Teen Advisory Board that Christien co-chaired. With the help of the hospital staff, and many generous donors, Christien and the Teen Advisory Board were able to see the opening of a Teen Lounge, a place for teens to hangout, socialize and play games while at the hospital. Christien became involved with Extra Life early this year. He was thrilled to learn that every dollar raised would stay local to impact kids at McLane Children’s Hospital. He and the Teen Advisory Board formed an Extra Life team, McLane Children’s Champions. Team McLane Children’s Champions set their goal at $18,800, which was specifically to purchase two needed pieces of hospital equipment, of which many members of the team had personally benefited from. Christien raised over $5,000 of that himself. After reaching their original group goal, they raised the goal to $25,000.00 which was also exceeded. Christien was excited to learn about the new winged avatars for Extra Lifers. He was anxious to receive his wings for his 1 year Extra Life anniversary, but knowing the seriousness of his condition, he instead focused his efforts on helping those around him. Christien is the first Extra Lifer to have legacy wings designed in his honor. His wings were created using two of his paintings that he created. One painting was his interpretation of outer space and the other was an abstract interpretation of his experience and his emotions as he was battling Ostesarcoma. Christien has impacted and improved the lives of numerous teens, individuals and Extra Lifers through his selfless service of others. As we celebrate this year’s game day and continue to raise funds and awareness for our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, please join us in honoring Christien by approaching this cause with the same passion and selflessness that he did. -------- View full article
  24. Honoring Christien Quiles

    On October 4th 2016, we lost a special member of our Extra Life community, Christien Quiles. Christien is a perfect example of what a beautiful difference one person can make in the lives of others. Christien made it his mission to improve the lives of patients at McLane Children’s Hospital. As a teen patient battling osteosarcoma, Christien felt everything was centered around his illness, and he recognized the need for teen patients to enjoy regular social experiences while in the hospital. He took the initiative to meet other teens in the hospital and form a group. It started with creating friendships, monthly meetings and discussion of how they could make their hospital even better. Through Christien’s dedication to giving all teens in the hospital a voice, his social circle grew to becoming an official Teen Advisory Board that Christien co-chaired. With the help of the hospital staff, and many generous donors, Christien and the Teen Advisory Board were able to see the opening of a Teen Lounge, a place for teens to hangout, socialize and play games while at the hospital. Christien became involved with Extra Life early this year. He was thrilled to learn that every dollar raised would stay local to impact kids at McLane Children’s Hospital. He and the Teen Advisory Board formed an Extra Life team, McLane Children’s Champions. Team McLane Children’s Champions set their goal at $18,800, which was specifically to purchase two needed pieces of hospital equipment, of which many members of the team had personally benefited from. Christien raised over $5,000 of that himself. After reaching their original group goal, they raised the goal to $25,000.00 which was also exceeded. Christien was excited to learn about the new winged avatars for Extra Lifers. He was anxious to receive his wings for his 1 year Extra Life anniversary, but knowing the seriousness of his condition, he instead focused his efforts on helping those around him. Christien is the first Extra Lifer to have legacy wings designed in his honor. His wings were created using two of his paintings that he created. One painting was his interpretation of outer space and the other was an abstract interpretation of his experience and his emotions as he was battling Ostesarcoma. Christien has impacted and improved the lives of numerous teens, individuals and Extra Lifers through his selfless service of others. As we celebrate this year’s game day and continue to raise funds and awareness for our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, please join us in honoring Christien by approaching this cause with the same passion and selflessness that he did. --------
  25. For My Daughter Miriam Louisa

    Article written by Eileen Howard, a sixth-year participant who plays for Nationwide Children's Hospital. When I first learned about Extra Life back in 2010, I was living with my fiance and enjoying the life of an adult geek and gamer. I saw my friend Steve Hamner participating and decided to join because I felt geeks and gamers in general still had quite a lousy reputation as being lazy and immature. I wanted to help show that we can make great things happen, too, just by doing what we love! That all changed in 2014 though. See I had a heart attack at the tender age of 40 in May of 2013. So in 2014 I decided to have gastric bypass surgery to prevent a second heart attack or early stroke because I have a genetic lipid disorder. So I had surgery August 1, 2014. Two weeks later, in severe pain, sick as a dog, we rushed to the emergency room. After some initial X-rays, blood tests, and more they came in and said, " Mrs. Howard, did you know that you are pregnant? " I almost fell out of the bed! For TWENTY YEARS I've battled, cried, and dealt with the sad state of "Non-Specific Infertility" and now suddenly, two weeks after a bypass they discover I'm pregnant at 41 years old! We were shocked and nervous and thrilled. Then they ran more tests, an MRI of my abdomen. They found a small bowel obstruction and the phrase "emergency small bowel resection surgery" was uttered and I cried again. They said anesthesia would probably cause a miscarriage. THEY WERE WRONG! My baby had already survived my gastric bypass, and she survived the resection as well! I had a fantastic pregnancy, despite all the tossing of cookies, and was honored with the arrival of Miriam Louisa Howard on April 13, 2015. As the days unfolded after her delivery, more surprises were in store for us. Miriam was born withtTrisomy 21, also known as Down Syndrome. She has hearing loss in her right ear. Then the scary stuff was revealed. She was born with two heart defects - two holes in her heart that were causing a back flow/overflow of blood through her lungs. She had to have open heart surgery, and pretty quickly. September 16, 2015 was the longest day of my life. I handed my 5 month old daughter over to strangers and asked them to perform open heart surgery on her, and save and extend her life for me. I cried again. I have an unlimited supply of tears it would seem, both happy and sad! That day was nerve-wracking but the amazing people at Nationwide Children's Hospital here in Ohio made it so much easier on us and they did a beautiful job on our baby girl! She received the best care and was out of the hospital in just five days! Her strength and resilience astound me. She inspires me. She is my sunshine! Her names literally mean " Wished For Child " (Miriam) and " Renowned Warrior " (Louisa). She's worth waiting for and worth fighting for, and I intend to show her that every day for the rest of my life. SHE is now Why I Extra Life!