Founded in 2008 to support a special young girl named Tori, Extra Life has expanded to support the full Children’s Miracle Network of hospitals around the country. While some people run marathons to raise money for charity, many of us aren’t able to put in the kind of training that would require. Extra Life is an excellent alternative. In the same vein as charity races, Extra Life lets gamers raise money to support children’s hospitals across the country. Every participant has a donation page, and can then participate in any way they choose – by attending a group event, or from the comfort of their own home.
This year, a local DFW group called Heroic Inner Kids is putting a collection of gamers together to collect support. HIK is a collection of cosplayers around the DFW area who support non-profit organizations by bringing costumed characters and volunteers to a variety of events. They’ve been to races, conventions, libraries, and the Texas State Fair. They’ve worked with Captain Hope’s Kids, the North Texas Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, and will be helping out with National Adoption Day in November. But on November 7, 2015, HIK will be holding a 24 hour gaming marathon to raise money for Extra Life. (Full disclosure here: I’m a member of HIK, and on the advisory board.)
You can check out Tori’s story in the video below:
I have another story to share, as well. The host of the HIK Extra Life event is another advisory board member, David Downing. David has personal investment in this event, and he offered to share the story of his own sister’s fight with cancer.
Nov 7 is the day of the event. Nov 10 is the anniversary of my sister losing her fight with cancer. It’s been 27 years. Every year, that day is really tough for my family. This year, my hope is that our hearts are lifted by the good deeds and the good community in spite of such tragedy.
When I was young, we spent quite a bit of time at Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft Worth. The people were good to us. I was very young and it still left an impression. Perhaps the highest compliment that can be given is that my father was so moved by the people’s contributions there that after we lost so much he went to nursing school and dedicated his life’s work to a new career in order to give back. He wanted to help people in the same way that we had been helped. My work as a science educator has been largely influenced by those times as I help others change their lives and achieve their goals. That pain has never gone away, but I have come to understand and appreciate the pain I bear. My family wouldn’t be who they are now and I certainly wouldn’t be the man I am today without the terrible events we had to endure. In that way, my sister has a legacy.
When we go to remember the sadness of what happened to us in the past, and how many children must suffer there now…. Instead, my intention is to honor the struggle they faced and the one’s who will be facing that struggle in future years by coming together with like-minded individuals and sharing happiness through all kinds of games while we raise money to support the cause.
So, how can you help HIK and Extra Life? It’s easy! If you live in the DFW area and would like to physically participate (in person, or virtually), there are still spots open at the center where we will be gathering together to play video games, board games, card games, and RPGs. Sponsors – including D-Link, AMD, and Cards Against Humanity – have been kind enough to donate all sorts or prizes. You can sign up to join the team at Extra Life. (You can also join by visiting the team’s profile.) If you’d like to make a donation, you’re welcome to donate through me, which you can do here. Every little bit helps! On the day of the event, you’re also welcome to join HIK on Twitch.