Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Extra Life 2015 - Why I Keep Playing

Extra Life is a 24 hour gaming marathon that happens once a year to raise money for Children's Miracle Network hospitals. It's something very near and dear to my heart and this will be my sixth year taking part. In my first five years I've raised just over $4,000 for Akron Children's Hospital and shared a lot of my story about my son Lucas and what he went through. This year I want to do something a little different. I don't want to look back because he's come so far and I don't think it does his story justice to continue to tell it like it was instead of how it is.

So instead of telling you about this newborn little boy with a broken heart who would spend his first Christmas Eve at four days old in an hours long open-heart surgery

I want to tell you about this energetic little three year old who just started preschool.

He's learning about colors and the days of the week. He, like most boys his age I assume, is currently obsessed with Batman. It's not uncommon for us to curl up on the couch on a Saturday morning and watch as Batman fights crime. He loves hot dogs and chicken nuggets, but only half as much as he loves M&Ms. We're thinking about signing him up for soccer next year so he can run around and burn off some of the endless energy he has. When he does finally get low on energy, he likes when we read Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site before bed.

In essence he's a pretty standard little boy and you may be why any of this is of any consequence and that's why I do Extra Life. Without Akron Children's Hospital and the wonderful people who worked so hard to help him get healthy he would never have gotten the chance to do any of these little boy things he does so well now. I wouldn't get my snuggle buddy on the couch for Saturday morning Batman. I wouldn't have to answer countless questions about the world from a curious three year old. I wouldn't get tiny high-fives or larger than life hugs from a little dude who means so very much to me.

Every day I'm beyond thankful for all those little things that add up to so much more. Every day though I struggle with how I could possible thank all those doctors, nurses, and surgeons for saving that little boy and giving me all these priceless moments. And so every year I sit down and play video games for 24 hours and ask you all to donate a little money to go to that same hospital so they can save another little boy or girl and someone else gets a chance to experience being a dad who would've otherwise lost what means most to them.

So please visit my Extra Life Page and make a donation, big or small, and help me say thank you!