Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gearing Up for Extra Life 2012

So this weekend a number of things happen. First of all, our awesome little boy turns 10 months old on Saturday! This is of course cause for celebration. Secondly, to celebrate I will be participating in the Extra Life charity to benefit the Children's Miracle Network, and more specifically, Akron Children's Hospital. If you haven't read my previous blog post, let me quickly sum up what this is all about.

I sign up. People donate money to support me, and this money goes to Akron Children's Hospital through the Children's Miracle Network. I play video games for 24 hours straight starting Saturday morning.

Pretty simple, and pretty awesome. Even more awesome is that so far I've raised just over $1500! So in the final days, I've decided to raise my goal one last time, and go all out and see if I can hit $2500. A lot of you have chipped in and helped, and for that I will be eternally grateful and you should rest assured that in some way you have improved the life of a child going through a rough spot. If you haven't donated yet, let me share a few stories with you that may help you make your decision.

Our son Lucas was born with a congenital heart defect that required him to have two open-heart surgeries. One of these was at just 4 days old, and the second was at two months. When it was all said and done, Lucas spent the first four months of his life living in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. This has given us an appreciation for Akron's Children Hospital that I won't even attempt to put into words, and it also gave us a lot of first-hand observations about what goes on in the hospital everyday.

The hospital never stops. It simply cannot. This is the nature of the beast. Lucas was born December, 20th last year, right before Christmas. The doctors had identified what was wrong with him and had scheduled his surgery for the Monday after the holiday since he was doing well and was stable. Unfortunately in the very early hours of Christmas Eve something went bad. We quickly learned before the sun came up that day that he would need to have his surgery, and he would need to have it that day. Within a couple of hours an entire team of people had arrived and got ready to make this happen. They came in on a day most people got to spend at home with their own families to spend it with ours. They weren't upset that they were there, they simply wanted to do what had to be done to help our little boy. Not only did they do it, but they did it with compassion and a great amount of heart.

This attitude continued every day for the entire four months we were at the hospital. People there just seemed happiest whenever they were able to help in any way. I remember sitting in our room hearing laughing from the hallway and looking out to see a nurse race a kid down the hallway in a wheelchair because he had been stuck in his room for a while.

I remember thinking that I could never put up with the stress and the kind of decisions they had to make all the time. I asked one of our nurses about it and she said "This is just what I was born to do, I can't think of anything else I'd rather do."

When the time came and we got to take Lucas home, I can honestly say I was a bit sad to say goodbye to all of the people we had spent time with at the hospital. I'm sure now that we're not there though, the good work they do goes on for someone else, and that's why I'm proud to be taking part in Extra Life for the third consecutive year.

So now comes the decision on what to play. In my definite list I have Borderlands 2 which I'm excited to spend some more time with. I also have Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning laying around that I'll finally get to crack into. I would also like to make a bit of a return to PC gaming. Every year sees at least a little bit of Day of Defeat: Source, so that'll happen.

I will try and take pictures and video to post afterwards, so stay tuned and thanks for your help. If you would like to help me reach my goal please visit my Extra Life page here: http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=31840

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