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Found 42 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Why do you #ExtraLife? At Extra Life United and Momentum this year, one of the questions posed to the audience at the medal ceremony was "What's your why?" We all have our reasons for starting on this journey of saving lives through the power of play, but where and when did it start for you? More importantly, why? In a paragraph or two, explain why you participate in Extra Life! Feel free to attach images, video clips, etc.
  4. 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.”
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.”
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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. --------
  11. 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
  12. 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!
  13. Article written by Melissa Megan, a fourth-year participant who plays for UF Health Shand's Children's Hospital. The handsome kid you see above is my nephew, Dusty. Video games were always important to him for many reasons, not least of all because the games kept him busy, distracted and happy during his long hospital stays at Shands Children's Hospital. Dusty battled Cystic Fibrosis and we lost him in 2013. He and I shared a love for video games and comic books and that mutual love helped us stay connected over the years, even when we lived on opposite ends of the country. I started doing Extra Life when Dusty was still here, to show support and appreciation for all the hard work Shands Children's Hospital had always done for my family, and now I continue to do it every year to honor his memory. There are lots more kids sitting in hospital beds, desperately needing a distraction from the unique difficulty of their lives, and video games are still a small comfort for those kids. This is why I Extra Life. To honor my family, to say thank you for the years of care and dedication from Shand's Childrens Hospital and to keep helping in the small way that I can.
  14. 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! View full article
  15. Article written by Melissa Megan, a fourth-year participant who plays for UF Health Shand's Children's Hospital. The handsome kid you see above is my nephew, Dusty. Video games were always important to him for many reasons, not least of all because the games kept him busy, distracted and happy during his long hospital stays at Shands Children's Hospital. Dusty battled Cystic Fibrosis and we lost him in 2013. He and I shared a love for video games and comic books and that mutual love helped us stay connected over the years, even when we lived on opposite ends of the country. I started doing Extra Life when Dusty was still here, to show support and appreciation for all the hard work Shands Children's Hospital had always done for my family, and now I continue to do it every year to honor his memory. There are lots more kids sitting in hospital beds, desperately needing a distraction from the unique difficulty of their lives, and video games are still a small comfort for those kids. This is why I Extra Life. To honor my family, to say thank you for the years of care and dedication from Shand's Childrens Hospital and to keep helping in the small way that I can. View full article
  16. Article written by Erin McGee, a second-year participant who raises funds for University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. I was born at 28 weeks weighing 2lbs 2oz on Thanksgiving Day of 1983 at another Cleveland area hospital. I was a subject of a bone density study by my Neonatologist. Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital had the latest equipment necessary for me, so I was there to have the tests conducted. Now, I'm a Senior Developer with Acumen Solutions and have been working as a developer for the past ten years, since my graduation with a degree in Computer Science from Kent State University. My company, Acumen Solutions, has been doing Extra Life as a Corporate Service Responsibility Event for the past two years out of our Cleveland office. One of our values as a company is to give back to our community and what a better way to do it and raise funds for Rainbow Babies and other CMN hospitals than to do something we love. I grew up playing old school games, like Bump 'n' Jump, BurgerTime and Pitfall on my Dad's Intellivision. Those games are still some of my favorites to play on the MAME console one of my coworkers built for the office. I'm also working on getting better at first person shooters like Halo, because they're a blast to play with my friends on Extra Life game day after you've been up more than 24 hours. When I'm on my own, I like the Sims games. I think the fact I'm doing this for Rainbow Babies and preemies and as they continue to grow and thrive has helped me in my fundraising. I've heard a lot of stories from people I've reached out to about preemies in their families or they themselves being preemies. It's something that has touched nearly everyone in some way. View full article
  17. Article written by Erin McGee, a second-year participant who raises funds for University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. I was born at 28 weeks weighing 2lbs 2oz on Thanksgiving Day of 1983 at another Cleveland area hospital. I was a subject of a bone density study by my Neonatologist. Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital had the latest equipment necessary for me, so I was there to have the tests conducted. Now, I'm a Senior Developer with Acumen Solutions and have been working as a developer for the past ten years, since my graduation with a degree in Computer Science from Kent State University. My company, Acumen Solutions, has been doing Extra Life as a Corporate Service Responsibility Event for the past two years out of our Cleveland office. One of our values as a company is to give back to our community and what a better way to do it and raise funds for Rainbow Babies and other CMN hospitals than to do something we love. I grew up playing old school games, like Bump 'n' Jump, BurgerTime and Pitfall on my Dad's Intellivision. Those games are still some of my favorites to play on the MAME console one of my coworkers built for the office. I'm also working on getting better at first person shooters like Halo, because they're a blast to play with my friends on Extra Life game day after you've been up more than 24 hours. When I'm on my own, I like the Sims games. I think the fact I'm doing this for Rainbow Babies and preemies and as they continue to grow and thrive has helped me in my fundraising. I've heard a lot of stories from people I've reached out to about preemies in their families or they themselves being preemies. It's something that has touched nearly everyone in some way.
  18. Article written by Neil Huss, a fourth-year participant who plays for University of Iowa Children's Hospital This will be my fourth year of participating in Extra Life. I play for The University of Iowa Children's Hospital, which is my local CMN Hospital. If I can reach my goal this year, I'll have raised $1000 since I started. I don't raise a ton of money, but I'm happy to participate by raising money (as well as supporting others who participate) and hope that my little bit can help a child or family who is trying to overcome a medical condition. My niece, Berkley, was born in 2006 with a critical heart defect that left her needing multiple surgeries, including serious operations within her first several weeks of life. The first time I ever saw her was at Emory Children's Center in Atlanta, GA and she had just completed her first procedures, still with an open chest from her surgery. I couldn't grasp that image in front of me. Babies are supposed to be happy and healthy. To see her with an open chest, with all the tubes and wires in and around her little body was heartbreaking. That sight was a powerful and moving testament to the types of challenges children can face and the work these hospitals do. We stayed a few days, visiting with family and getting to know some of the doctors and nurses who worked relentlessly to help not only my niece, but every child there. The experience I had at that hospital was frightening yet, in a way reassuring at the same time. To see the dedication of the professionals and their commitment to helping kids was amazing. She has overcome that challenge and fully embraced the life every child should live thanks to the work of those wonderful people. She may have been too young to understand at the time what she went through (maybe that's for the better) but to all of her friends and family, her ability to overcome such a daunting start to life is an inspiration. Fast forward to October of 2016 and I have welcomed my first child into this world. Thankfully, she was born healthy and without any serious issues that required the need of specialized care. Seeing my niece in the hospital, I understood the heartbreak of seeing a child dealing with such adversity. Now that I've experienced the birth of my own child, I understand the other half of that story too - that connection as a parent where you would do whatever it takes to help your child overcome any obstacle. As long as Extra Life is here to help these amazing hospitals and kids, I'll be here to play games and heal kids. View full article
  19. Article written by Neil Huss, a fourth-year participant who plays for University of Iowa Children's Hospital This will be my fourth year of participating in Extra Life. I play for The University of Iowa Children's Hospital, which is my local CMN Hospital. If I can reach my goal this year, I'll have raised $1000 since I started. I don't raise a ton of money, but I'm happy to participate by raising money (as well as supporting others who participate) and hope that my little bit can help a child or family who is trying to overcome a medical condition. My niece, Berkley, was born in 2006 with a critical heart defect that left her needing multiple surgeries, including serious operations within her first several weeks of life. The first time I ever saw her was at Emory Children's Center in Atlanta, GA and she had just completed her first procedures, still with an open chest from her surgery. I couldn't grasp that image in front of me. Babies are supposed to be happy and healthy. To see her with an open chest, with all the tubes and wires in and around her little body was heartbreaking. That sight was a powerful and moving testament to the types of challenges children can face and the work these hospitals do. We stayed a few days, visiting with family and getting to know some of the doctors and nurses who worked relentlessly to help not only my niece, but every child there. The experience I had at that hospital was frightening yet, in a way reassuring at the same time. To see the dedication of the professionals and their commitment to helping kids was amazing. She has overcome that challenge and fully embraced the life every child should live thanks to the work of those wonderful people. She may have been too young to understand at the time what she went through (maybe that's for the better) but to all of her friends and family, her ability to overcome such a daunting start to life is an inspiration. Fast forward to October of 2016 and I have welcomed my first child into this world. Thankfully, she was born healthy and without any serious issues that required the need of specialized care. Seeing my niece in the hospital, I understood the heartbreak of seeing a child dealing with such adversity. Now that I've experienced the birth of my own child, I understand the other half of that story too - that connection as a parent where you would do whatever it takes to help your child overcome any obstacle. As long as Extra Life is here to help these amazing hospitals and kids, I'll be here to play games and heal kids.
  20. Article written by Steven Snyder, a first-year participant who plays for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I Extra Life for my brother, Mike. Mike was born with kidney failure and has spent all his life in and out of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia since he was born in 2001. After two previous kidney transplants, he is now on dialysis waiting for another kidney. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has always been there for my brother and the rest of my family. Extra Life is a way for me to give back to CHOP. I love playing video games so Extra Life is perfect for me. This is my 4th year playing and I hope to continue to do this for many years to come. View full article
  21. Article written by Steven Snyder, a first-year participant who plays for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I Extra Life for my brother, Mike. Mike was born with kidney failure and has spent all his life in and out of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia since he was born in 2001. After two previous kidney transplants, he is now on dialysis waiting for another kidney. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has always been there for my brother and the rest of my family. Extra Life is a way for me to give back to CHOP. I love playing video games so Extra Life is perfect for me. This is my 4th year playing and I hope to continue to do this for many years to come.
  22. Article written by Ben Roller, a fifth-year participant who plays for Kentucky Children's Hospital. One afternoon in 2012, I was sitting at home taking care of my newborn daughter. While browsing reddit, I stumbled upon a post about the Extra Life gaming marathon. It seemed like a perfect way to use my love of gaming to help kids in need. Besides, as a new parent, I was no stranger to being awake all hours of the night. That first year I recruited my wife to help. We spent 24 hours straight playing video games, board games and card games. We had a lot of fun and raised a little bit of money to help some kids in need. A couple of years later, now with a popular YouTube channel supporting my efforts, I once again pulled an all-nighter and helped raise money for the kids. This year marks my fifth year participating in Extra Life. I've always played for Kentucky Children's Hospital, which is located in the city where we live. I've known a lot of really sick kids who, thanks to Children's Hospitals here in Kentucky and elsewhere, have turned into really amazing teens and adults. This year I’ve returned to an old favorite, Kerbal Space Program. I played this game for the last 3-4 hours of the marathon in 2012. Since then, the game was released on my favorite console, so I'm excited to once again visit alien worlds and build virtual space stations. EXTRA LIFE PLAYER STATS TEAM NAME: Team reddit TEAM GOAL: $100,000 View full article
  23. Article written by Ben Roller, a fifth-year participant who plays for Kentucky Children's Hospital. One afternoon in 2012, I was sitting at home taking care of my newborn daughter. While browsing reddit, I stumbled upon a post about the Extra Life gaming marathon. It seemed like a perfect way to use my love of gaming to help kids in need. Besides, as a new parent, I was no stranger to being awake all hours of the night. That first year I recruited my wife to help. We spent 24 hours straight playing video games, board games and card games. We had a lot of fun and raised a little bit of money to help some kids in need. A couple of years later, now with a popular YouTube channel supporting my efforts, I once again pulled an all-nighter and helped raise money for the kids. This year marks my fifth year participating in Extra Life. I've always played for Kentucky Children's Hospital, which is located in the city where we live. I've known a lot of really sick kids who, thanks to Children's Hospitals here in Kentucky and elsewhere, have turned into really amazing teens and adults. This year I’ve returned to an old favorite, Kerbal Space Program. I played this game for the last 3-4 hours of the marathon in 2012. Since then, the game was released on my favorite console, so I'm excited to once again visit alien worlds and build virtual space stations. EXTRA LIFE PLAYER STATS TEAM NAME: Team reddit TEAM GOAL: $100,000
  24. Article written by Mike Block, a seventh-year participant who plays for Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital I Extra Life for my daughter and all the kids like her. This is my 7th year participating in Extra Life. It started out as fun, "Hey, this is a marathon I can actually do!" The weight of the event became more real after some friends of ours had a baby with extremely severe heart conditions, who stayed in the hospital for many months after his birth. Then my wife and I had our first child, a daughter. She was diagnosed with an incredibly rare condition and Extra Life managed to take on even more significance for me. Our daughter was diagnosed prenatally with a frontal encephalocele as well as hydrocephalus, agenisis of her corpus callosum, and a chiari malformation. An encephalocele is a neural tube defect where the skull did not fuse together properly, leaving a gap in which brain tissue and dura matter protrude. Some are skin covered, others aren't, and all pose an extremely significant risk to the health of the baby. Our daughters condition was frontal, right between her eyes, and it was skin covered. She has received a total of five different brain and craniofacial surgeries to repair the defect and try to construct nominal bone structure in her face. We have felt first-hand the power of a Children's Miracle Network Hospital. We felt the comfort of the extremely skilled surgeons, the nursing staff, even the volunteers who walked room to room to make sure we had enough books, toys, and games to make our stays as comfortable as possible. Abriana is now 3-years-old and like so many kids, she's the definition of a fighter. For now, she has regained her developmental track and she's actually right where she's expected to be developmentally at this age. She's joyous and has an inspiring level of empathy for kids around her. If another kid starts crying, she cries with them. She's incredible and has been enabled by the care and guidance received by our CMN Hospital, John's Hopkins All Children's in St Petersburg Florida. I Extra Life for all kids fighting for their lives and the parents who need the care and comforts offered by such top notch facilities! EXTRA LIFE PLAYER STATS Team Name: Pixel Damage Team Goal: $7,500
  25. Article written by Mike Block, a seventh-year participant who plays for Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital I Extra Life for my daughter and all the kids like her. This is my 7th year participating in Extra Life. It started out as fun, "Hey, this is a marathon I can actually do!" The weight of the event became more real after some friends of ours had a baby with extremely severe heart conditions, who stayed in the hospital for many months after his birth. Then my wife and I had our first child, a daughter. She was diagnosed with an incredibly rare condition and Extra Life managed to take on even more significance for me. Our daughter was diagnosed prenatally with a frontal encephalocele as well as hydrocephalus, agenisis of her corpus callosum, and a chiari malformation. An encephalocele is a neural tube defect where the skull did not fuse together properly, leaving a gap in which brain tissue and dura matter protrude. Some are skin covered, others aren't, and all pose an extremely significant risk to the health of the baby. Our daughters condition was frontal, right between her eyes, and it was skin covered. She has received a total of five different brain and craniofacial surgeries to repair the defect and try to construct nominal bone structure in her face. We have felt first-hand the power of a Children's Miracle Network Hospital. We felt the comfort of the extremely skilled surgeons, the nursing staff, even the volunteers who walked room to room to make sure we had enough books, toys, and games to make our stays as comfortable as possible. Abriana is now 3-years-old and like so many kids, she's the definition of a fighter. For now, she has regained her developmental track and she's actually right where she's expected to be developmentally at this age. She's joyous and has an inspiring level of empathy for kids around her. If another kid starts crying, she cries with them. She's incredible and has been enabled by the care and guidance received by our CMN Hospital, John's Hopkins All Children's in St Petersburg Florida. I Extra Life for all kids fighting for their lives and the parents who need the care and comforts offered by such top notch facilities! EXTRA LIFE PLAYER STATS Team Name: Pixel Damage Team Goal: $7,500 View full article