"This will be my third year participating in Extra Life. Every participant picks a hospital they wish to raise money for. I am raising money for SickKids hospital in Toronto, Ontario and raised $730 during my first two years. If the team I’m part of reaches our goal then we will have cumulatively raised $1,000,000 over all the years they’ve been participating.
Extra Life is a 24-hour Gaming Marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. In a way, it’s also a celebration for gamers of every type to unite and show their support for all the life-saving work that happens in these hospitals. The way it works is that the participants record themselves playing games for as long as they can; typically for 24 or more hours. They stream their event live over the internet using live-streaming services like Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, or Facebook. It can happen at any time and you can play for as long as you feel comfortable, however, the Extra Life organization often promotes one weekend each year as their main event, when the majority of the participants will be taking part. People are encouraged to play games of all sorts including video games, pen and paper roleplaying games, or board games.
I got into this project for a few different reasons. My nephew spent a significant amount of his first year of life in SickKids, and would continue to make trips to that hospital for special treatment and checkups over the next few years. In fact, he was admitted to SickKids for the first time only days before my first charity live-stream. It also seems like every time I talk to someone new about raising money for CMN, they have some sort of story about how a CMN affiliated hospital had a direct effect on their lives or the lives of people they care about. I’ve even had a couple of moments when complete strangers - who would recognize the Extra Life shirt I was wearing - stopped me on the street to shake my hand and thank me for supporting the cause. It’s a strange but wonderful feeling that I am not usually accustomed to.
The other reason I got involved with Extra Life was to challenge myself. I spent a few years watching (and donating to) Extra Life live streams from major nerdy content providers and would think to myself. Wouldn’t it be great to try something like this? They’re having a blast and it is fascinating to watch people try their best to be entertaining for 24+ hours straight. But I could never do that. It seems so mentally demanding to juggle playing games and engaging an audience, all while troubleshooting the technical aspects of producing live video content for 24 hours straight. I always strive to challenge myself and I get a real sense of accomplishment each time I do one of these charity events. I feel like it has also done wonders for my self-esteem and anxiety.
I also love raising money to fund critical treatments, healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care for those who really need it. Those who may not have otherwise been able to receive the care they needed if it were not for the Children’s Miracle Network."