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iambrooke_

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About iambrooke_

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  • Birthday 03/15/1990

Extra Life

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  1. This post was written by fourth-year Extra Lifer Andrew Espinoza playing for Tucson Medical Center. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. The reason I've been involved in this organization so much is for one it is donations that I know get locally used, two they are going to be used for children and their families at these hospitals, and three because I am parent myself of 2 beautiful boys and I know I would want the children's hospital they go to, hopefully not any time soon, that they are equipped and well funded to take care of them. We did once have to go to Boston Children's Hospital when our oldest son was having severe stomach pains and the regular local hospital had us transfer him to there as they would have the equipment needed to see what could possibly have been wrong with him. I was thankful that we had a hospital near by that had the right equipment to make my son as comfortable as possible as well as the right equipment to diagnose him properly especially since at the time he was only 2 years old. You can share your Why I Extra Life story by visiting: childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/guest-post and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help heal kids in hospitals across North America.
  2. This post was written by fourth-year Extra Lifer Andrew Espinoza playing for Tucson Medical Center. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. The reason I've been involved in this organization so much is for one it is donations that I know get locally used, two they are going to be used for children and their families at these hospitals, and three because I am parent myself of 2 beautiful boys and I know I would want the children's hospital they go to, hopefully not any time soon, that they are equipped and well funded to take care of them. We did once have to go to Boston Children's Hospital when our oldest son was having severe stomach pains and the regular local hospital had us transfer him to there as they would have the equipment needed to see what could possibly have been wrong with him. I was thankful that we had a hospital near by that had the right equipment to make my son as comfortable as possible as well as the right equipment to diagnose him properly especially since at the time he was only 2 years old. You can share your Why I Extra Life story by visiting: childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/guest-post and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help heal kids in hospitals across North America. View full article
  3. This post was written by fourth-year Extra Lifer Jeff Prebeg playing for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. 3 years ago, I saw a Facebook post by a friend about a 24-hour gaming marathon that benefits sick kids. As a life-long gamer and an inherent fan of challenges, I signed up, picked my local hospital and didn’t think much of it. Game day came and went and I was somehow able to raise $200 by playing World of Warcraft. It was fun and then I went back to my regular life. I got an email in January of the next year (2018) to join my local guilds’ kick-off meeting. Again, I was bored and had nothing to do that day so I went for it, unbeknownst to me, that my life would significantly change. I met my local guild and in particular a local legend of sorts, Richard Moser. His vigor and excitement for Extra Life was palpable. He had tattoos, both gaming and Extra Life related, which really spoke to me and to the content of his character. We became friends and over the course of 2018 we bonded, especially at volunteer events. So much so, that we ended up becoming President (him) and Vice-President (myself) of the local guild for 2019. We had this information of our new roles just after game day, so when a new outreach opportunity presented itself, we were the leaders in working on it. Maddox Hyde, a 14-year old, had just been informed that his cancer had reached the breaking point of the aid doctors could provide and there was nothing more that could be done. He had heard about Extra Life days before and wanted to do his own game day so that “he could be remembered as a champion and not just another kid with cancer.” Mr. Moser and myself helped to get things organized so he could do just that. Little did we know the impact he’d have. His game day went off without a hitch. We, as an Extra Life community poured our all into advertising, much with the hashtag #TeamMaddoxEL. In the singular week preceding his game day, he was at around $5k raised by the day of his game day, $7k by the time his stream started, and by the end of the year he was well over $15k raised! This community of gamers from all over the world came together to help a kid they didn’t know have a wonderful time and set a record for Pittsburgh. On January 23rd, he lost his fight and the world lost a champion. For his efforts he was posthumously awarded the 2019 Youth Fundraiser Award from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. Now, my game day was in November of 2018 and I had achieved a donation incentive to get an Extra Life tattoo, much as a result of Mr. Moser’s tattoo. I just didn’t know, at the time, what I wanted. After my experience with Maddox, all my thoughts on Extra Life coalesced and I knew just what I wanted. With the help of fellow Extra Lifer, Ashley Farkas, who drew up the design, I got my memorial to Maddox and a tribute to the amazing community and life-long friends I made with Extra Life permanently on my body. Maddox’s Twitch account name was MadGhost0821 and as such my design was a mad ghost holding a sign emblazoned with the letter FTK, our mantra “For The Kids”. When I started three years ago, I was a lone guy who cared about Extra Life only on game day and just the gaming marathon aspect of it. Now, thanks to #TeamMaddoxEL, I fundraise 365 days a year and just can’t see a world where I don’t Extra Life. Jeff Prebeg is a three year Extra Lifer who is also on the Extra Life official stream team. Hailing from the Steel City (Pittsburgh, PA) Jeff uses his passion for gaming, particular retro-gaming and speedrunning, for good. You can share your Why I Extra Life story by visiting: childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/guest-post and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help heal kids in hospitals across North America.
  4. This post was written by fourth-year Extra Lifer Jeff Prebeg playing for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. 3 years ago, I saw a Facebook post by a friend about a 24-hour gaming marathon that benefits sick kids. As a life-long gamer and an inherent fan of challenges, I signed up, picked my local hospital and didn’t think much of it. Game day came and went and I was somehow able to raise $200 by playing World of Warcraft. It was fun and then I went back to my regular life. I got an email in January of the next year (2018) to join my local guilds’ kick-off meeting. Again, I was bored and had nothing to do that day so I went for it, unbeknownst to me, that my life would significantly change. I met my local guild and in particular a local legend of sorts, Richard Moser. His vigor and excitement for Extra Life was palpable. He had tattoos, both gaming and Extra Life related, which really spoke to me and to the content of his character. We became friends and over the course of 2018 we bonded, especially at volunteer events. So much so, that we ended up becoming President (him) and Vice-President (myself) of the local guild for 2019. We had this information of our new roles just after game day, so when a new outreach opportunity presented itself, we were the leaders in working on it. Maddox Hyde, a 14-year old, had just been informed that his cancer had reached the breaking point of the aid doctors could provide and there was nothing more that could be done. He had heard about Extra Life days before and wanted to do his own game day so that “he could be remembered as a champion and not just another kid with cancer.” Mr. Moser and myself helped to get things organized so he could do just that. Little did we know the impact he’d have. His game day went off without a hitch. We, as an Extra Life community poured our all into advertising, much with the hashtag #TeamMaddoxEL. In the singular week preceding his game day, he was at around $5k raised by the day of his game day, $7k by the time his stream started, and by the end of the year he was well over $15k raised! This community of gamers from all over the world came together to help a kid they didn’t know have a wonderful time and set a record for Pittsburgh. On January 23rd, he lost his fight and the world lost a champion. For his efforts he was posthumously awarded the 2019 Youth Fundraiser Award from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. Now, my game day was in November of 2018 and I had achieved a donation incentive to get an Extra Life tattoo, much as a result of Mr. Moser’s tattoo. I just didn’t know, at the time, what I wanted. After my experience with Maddox, all my thoughts on Extra Life coalesced and I knew just what I wanted. With the help of fellow Extra Lifer, Ashley Farkas, who drew up the design, I got my memorial to Maddox and a tribute to the amazing community and life-long friends I made with Extra Life permanently on my body. Maddox’s Twitch account name was MadGhost0821 and as such my design was a mad ghost holding a sign emblazoned with the letter FTK, our mantra “For The Kids”. When I started three years ago, I was a lone guy who cared about Extra Life only on game day and just the gaming marathon aspect of it. Now, thanks to #TeamMaddoxEL, I fundraise 365 days a year and just can’t see a world where I don’t Extra Life. Jeff Prebeg is a three year Extra Lifer who is also on the Extra Life official stream team. Hailing from the Steel City (Pittsburgh, PA) Jeff uses his passion for gaming, particular retro-gaming and speedrunning, for good. You can share your Why I Extra Life story by visiting: childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/guest-post and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help heal kids in hospitals across North America. View full article
  5. This post was written by fifth-year Extra Lifer Michael Stephens playing for Boston Children's Hospital. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. I've been a gamer all my life, and I didn't get into much charity work until I started working at my job. They partner with several groups, including Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. That's when my team and I started. The idea of playing games and being able to heal kids resonated with me so easily. We did it for Boston Children's Hospital. We were all parents except for me at the time, so this just came naturally. Then it was my turn to be a dad. But when my wife was 18 weeks pregnant, we found out our baby was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. He was born on March 20th, transferred to Boston Children's Hospital on March 26th, and underwent open heart surgery on March 28th. It took him a month to recover, but he's not cured of his condition. He's merely repaired, and it's a disease he'll carry with him for the rest of his life. Our only hope is that my son will not be inhibited by his condition but will persevere through it and do great things with his life in spite of it all. He's 7 months old now and the happiest little boy ever. The doctors and nurses at Boston Children's Hospital saved his life and gave him a shot at a normal childhood. William Michael Stephens. He's why I Extra Life. View full article
  6. This post was written by fifth-year Extra Lifer Michael Stephens playing for Boston Children's Hospital. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. I've been a gamer all my life, and I didn't get into much charity work until I started working at my job. They partner with several groups, including Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. That's when my team and I started. The idea of playing games and being able to heal kids resonated with me so easily. We did it for Boston Children's Hospital. We were all parents except for me at the time, so this just came naturally. Then it was my turn to be a dad. But when my wife was 18 weeks pregnant, we found out our baby was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. He was born on March 20th, transferred to Boston Children's Hospital on March 26th, and underwent open heart surgery on March 28th. It took him a month to recover, but he's not cured of his condition. He's merely repaired, and it's a disease he'll carry with him for the rest of his life. Our only hope is that my son will not be inhibited by his condition but will persevere through it and do great things with his life in spite of it all. He's 7 months old now and the happiest little boy ever. The doctors and nurses at Boston Children's Hospital saved his life and gave him a shot at a normal childhood. William Michael Stephens. He's why I Extra Life.
  7. This post was written by seven-year Extra Lifer Matt Parsons playing for Janeway Foundation. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. For my daughter, Scarlett. While this is my 7th year as an Extra-Lifer, this year in January my daughter Scarlett was born with a cleft palate. Cleft palate is a birth defect where the roof of your mouth does not properly form, leaving an opening between the mouth and the nose. This was a scary time for us as it was not immediately diagnosed, and she was struggling to drink milk and slowly becoming jaundice and losing weight. Thanks to her children's hospital, the Janeway Children's Hospital in Newfoundland, Canada, after she is a year old she will receive reconstructive surgery (possibly multiple) to fix the cleft palate. Even with the surgery, she may still have a long road of speech therapy and hearing issues ahead of her, only time will tell. I've never needed a personal reason to participate, but this year I have one and I hope it inspires more people to participate. While you may have no current connection to a children's hospital you never know when you or someone you love may have need of their services. View full article
  8. This post was written by seven-year Extra Lifer Matt Parsons playing for Janeway Foundation. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. For my daughter, Scarlett. While this is my 7th year as an Extra-Lifer, this year in January my daughter Scarlett was born with a cleft palate. Cleft palate is a birth defect where the roof of your mouth does not properly form, leaving an opening between the mouth and the nose. This was a scary time for us as it was not immediately diagnosed, and she was struggling to drink milk and slowly becoming jaundice and losing weight. Thanks to her children's hospital, the Janeway Children's Hospital in Newfoundland, Canada, after she is a year old she will receive reconstructive surgery (possibly multiple) to fix the cleft palate. Even with the surgery, she may still have a long road of speech therapy and hearing issues ahead of her, only time will tell. I've never needed a personal reason to participate, but this year I have one and I hope it inspires more people to participate. While you may have no current connection to a children's hospital you never know when you or someone you love may have need of their services.
  9. This post was written by first-year Extra Lifer Diane Dolan playing for Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. When I was born on November 3, 1988, I weighed 1lb 11oz. I suffered four intraventricular hemorrhages grade four (bleeding in the brain) as well as having "died" I was off life support for 40 min. I started breathing, on my own, when the hospital staff lifted me to remove tubes for my parents to hold me. I had a patent ductus arterious (persistent opening between the two major blood vessels of the heart) at three weeks and my weight was down to 1lb 2oz. I suffered from Bradycardia( slower than normal heart rate)until I was seven months old. I ended up with mild retinopathy of prematurity (abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina), which was corrected before I was four months old and released from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). From six months old to two years old I suffered both petite mal (Absence) and grand mal (Tonic-clonic) seizures of unknown origin but they were controlled with medicine. When I was born my parents and family were told if I lived I would I would be non-functional. That they should put me in an institution and continue with their lives as if I didn't exist. My parents went against the medical advice given to them at the time and took me home. Over the last 30 years, I have always been a fighter right from the day I was born and have exceeded all expectations of what I was supposed to be. I Extra Life because I want the best care possible for the children and parents of the future.
  10. This post was written by first-year Extra Lifer Diane Dolan playing for Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. When I was born on November 3, 1988, I weighed 1lb 11oz. I suffered four intraventricular hemorrhages grade four (bleeding in the brain) as well as having "died" I was off life support for 40 min. I started breathing, on my own, when the hospital staff lifted me to remove tubes for my parents to hold me. I had a patent ductus arterious (persistent opening between the two major blood vessels of the heart) at three weeks and my weight was down to 1lb 2oz. I suffered from Bradycardia( slower than normal heart rate)until I was seven months old. I ended up with mild retinopathy of prematurity (abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina), which was corrected before I was four months old and released from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). From six months old to two years old I suffered both petite mal (Absence) and grand mal (Tonic-clonic) seizures of unknown origin but they were controlled with medicine. When I was born my parents and family were told if I lived I would I would be non-functional. That they should put me in an institution and continue with their lives as if I didn't exist. My parents went against the medical advice given to them at the time and took me home. Over the last 30 years, I have always been a fighter right from the day I was born and have exceeded all expectations of what I was supposed to be. I Extra Life because I want the best care possible for the children and parents of the future. View full article
  11. This summer, I met an incredible young man named William Miller who changed my life, and the lives of everyone who got to know him. I want to tell you about him because I want to make sure his spirit lives on in the efforts of Extra Life players all over the world, this November 3rd. I think Will would be very into that. If you are able to donate, know that goes towards funding life-saving equipment, and for funding crucial patient support programs like Streetlight, ChildLife, and Arts in Medicine. I work as the Assistant Director for the Streetlight program. Streetlight is a peer support program for adolescents and young adults who have to be in the hospital for long stretches of time, or who have to come in often. A lot of patients we see have cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, or are waiting for an organ transplant. Our goals are to help patients endure long hospital stays, whether it’s through watching movies, playing games, finding any excuse to have a party, or if it’s just hanging out and helping people pass the time, vent, or just be. We say in Streetlight, “We Get To Carry Each Other”, and believe that life's ultimate privilege and joy is getting to live it with the folks you love. Streetlight normally only sees patients 13 and up, but we were told by multiple doctors, nurses, and specialists about a 12-year-old boy who was years beyond his age. His mom described him as a 25-year-old stuck inside a 12-year-old’s body… and because I’m basically a 12-year-old in a 25-year-old’s body, we hit it off pretty quickly. Will had just about played through every video game he could get his hands on. He knew the backstories, the intricate plot details, even the “conspiracy theories” behind all the video games we both loved, and we’d talk for hours about them. It wasn’t long after I introduced Will to Streetlight that he had a following of Streetlight volunteers who loved hanging out with Will, goofing around, and listening to all the hilarious and often profound things he had to say. Will was actually the first person to join the Streetlight Gaming League, our online video game community in Streetlight that allows patients and volunteers to connect through gaming, text, and voice chat whether they are here at Shands or back at home (I'm repping our Gaming League Shirt in the photo, which patients get upon induction to the league). Will had his own YouTube channel where he made game reviews and hospital life vlogs. I remember seeing his intro for the first time. “Ripped Pheonix” was his name. The title shook on the screen to the sounds of dubstep video game music. I loved it. His friends at Streetlight made sure he got a never-ending supply of great games to try out and review on his channel. He also had a habit of getting them into all sorts of shenanigans. Ask me sometime about our volunteers Logan, Michael, and Chris walking miles around hospital units to catch a Pokemon for Will on Pokemon Go. He wasn’t always the most eager to hang out, though. Sometimes we’d swing by and he’d be in terrible pain, or he’d be extremely down. He was going through more pain, complications, and struggles than most adults would ever have to bear in their lifetime. Throughout it all, though, I could not for a second imagine a more perfect family for him to have at his side. His mom, dad, and sisters sat with Will through all his pain, heard his frustrations, and had an incredible way of letting the hope inside Will shine through even in the darkest times. We’d all talk about the crazy stories his parents had about Will-- all his memories, his jokes, his plans for his YouTube channel, his favorite gamers. Even on his roughest days, we’d hear him say a sarcastic comment or some words of love and knew Will was still in there. This post was written by second-year Extra Lifer Drew Walker playing for UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org.
  12. This summer, I met an incredible young man named William Miller who changed my life, and the lives of everyone who got to know him. I want to tell you about him because I want to make sure his spirit lives on in the efforts of Extra Life players all over the world, this November 3rd. I think Will would be very into that. If you are able to donate, know that goes towards funding life-saving equipment, and for funding crucial patient support programs like Streetlight, ChildLife, and Arts in Medicine. I work as the Assistant Director for the Streetlight program. Streetlight is a peer support program for adolescents and young adults who have to be in the hospital for long stretches of time, or who have to come in often. A lot of patients we see have cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, or are waiting for an organ transplant. Our goals are to help patients endure long hospital stays, whether it’s through watching movies, playing games, finding any excuse to have a party, or if it’s just hanging out and helping people pass the time, vent, or just be. We say in Streetlight, “We Get To Carry Each Other”, and believe that life's ultimate privilege and joy is getting to live it with the folks you love. Streetlight normally only sees patients 13 and up, but we were told by multiple doctors, nurses, and specialists about a 12-year-old boy who was years beyond his age. His mom described him as a 25-year-old stuck inside a 12-year-old’s body… and because I’m basically a 12-year-old in a 25-year-old’s body, we hit it off pretty quickly. Will had just about played through every video game he could get his hands on. He knew the backstories, the intricate plot details, even the “conspiracy theories” behind all the video games we both loved, and we’d talk for hours about them. It wasn’t long after I introduced Will to Streetlight that he had a following of Streetlight volunteers who loved hanging out with Will, goofing around, and listening to all the hilarious and often profound things he had to say. Will was actually the first person to join the Streetlight Gaming League, our online video game community in Streetlight that allows patients and volunteers to connect through gaming, text, and voice chat whether they are here at Shands or back at home (I'm repping our Gaming League Shirt in the photo, which patients get upon induction to the league). Will had his own YouTube channel where he made game reviews and hospital life vlogs. I remember seeing his intro for the first time. “Ripped Pheonix” was his name. The title shook on the screen to the sounds of dubstep video game music. I loved it. His friends at Streetlight made sure he got a never-ending supply of great games to try out and review on his channel. He also had a habit of getting them into all sorts of shenanigans. Ask me sometime about our volunteers Logan, Michael, and Chris walking miles around hospital units to catch a Pokemon for Will on Pokemon Go. He wasn’t always the most eager to hang out, though. Sometimes we’d swing by and he’d be in terrible pain, or he’d be extremely down. He was going through more pain, complications, and struggles than most adults would ever have to bear in their lifetime. Throughout it all, though, I could not for a second imagine a more perfect family for him to have at his side. His mom, dad, and sisters sat with Will through all his pain, heard his frustrations, and had an incredible way of letting the hope inside Will shine through even in the darkest times. We’d all talk about the crazy stories his parents had about Will-- all his memories, his jokes, his plans for his YouTube channel, his favorite gamers. Even on his roughest days, we’d hear him say a sarcastic comment or some words of love and knew Will was still in there. This post was written by second-year Extra Lifer Drew Walker playing for UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. View full article
  13. Hello, my name is Allison (aliceclass on twitch) I have been a part of Extra Life since May 29, 2018. I play for Children's Hospital Colorado with a team called nerdology5280 and it has been amazing. To answer the question: Why I Extra Life? We need to go back about 50 years to when my grandmother gave birth to my dad and my uncle (twins), they were born at five months and needed help. Without their children’s hospital, I wouldn’t be here to help the community that gave me my father. More recently our children’s hospital has helped my sister when she had to have surgery to remove her tonsils when she was (I think) 10, me when I was a freshman in high school having to have an upper GI done, and my baby cousin who had a really bad asthma attack and needed to be admitted to help her breathing (she’s four). I play so that I can help support the hospitals that have helped my family out so much an that have made my family healthier and living a better life. I am more recent into playing video games but the best games I love are the nostalgia games like Pac-Man, Pokémon stadium, Mario 64, and Mario Party. This post was written by first-year Extra Lifer Allison Zolman playing for Children's Hospital Colorado. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org. View full article
  14. Hello, my name is Allison (aliceclass on twitch) I have been a part of Extra Life since May 29, 2018. I play for Children's Hospital Colorado with a team called nerdology5280 and it has been amazing. To answer the question: Why I Extra Life? We need to go back about 50 years to when my grandmother gave birth to my dad and my uncle (twins), they were born at five months and needed help. Without their children’s hospital, I wouldn’t be here to help the community that gave me my father. More recently our children’s hospital has helped my sister when she had to have surgery to remove her tonsils when she was (I think) 10, me when I was a freshman in high school having to have an upper GI done, and my baby cousin who had a really bad asthma attack and needed to be admitted to help her breathing (she’s four). I play so that I can help support the hospitals that have helped my family out so much an that have made my family healthier and living a better life. I am more recent into playing video games but the best games I love are the nostalgia games like Pac-Man, Pokémon stadium, Mario 64, and Mario Party. This post was written by first-year Extra Lifer Allison Zolman playing for Children's Hospital Colorado. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org.
  15. Two pictures. 2009 and 2015, 2009 Bailey Grace Ehasz spent 11 days at CHOP ICU after being hit by a truck suffering broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. Followed by six months rehab at the Seashore house at CHOP. The doctors told us to expect our daughter would never communicate again. 2015 Bailey graduating high school. Presidential award for academic achievement. I have supported CMN Hospitals since my time at CHOP with my daughter and some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. Parents and kids facing unimaginable odds while dealing with tragedy and triumph. My family is filled with long-time gamers and I have dabbled in streaming for a few years. In 2017 I noticed a twitch campaign that matched donated bits using the tag #charity to an organization called Extra Life. Once I found out what it was I signed up immediately. This is my second year with Extra Life. I joined the Philadelphia guild this year. Once again, I found myself meeting some of the most amazing people all with one thing in common. A deeply personal connection to CMN Hospitals. And we are gamers which is a single united shared activity. We play, and playing is the core of childhood Mark Ehasz, and this is my story why I extra life. And P.S. Bailey is currently in her 3rd year of college working on an early education major. She wants to be a teacher. This post was written by second-year Extra Lifer Mark Ehasz playing for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. You can learn more about Extra Life at extra-life.org.
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