Extra Life 2016
Tomorrow marks the 7th year of our charity “marathon,” where myself and a team of similarly-minded lunatics dubbed “The PSC M0nk3ys,” sit down to play games for 24 hours straight, all to benefit the kids at Texas Children’s Hospital.
This is the part where I’m supposed to pitch you on donating money to me for this event. The problem is, I’m not a talented enough writer to type things that don’t come off as hackneyed, or intolerably sappy, when it comes to sick children.
So, rather than the babbling stream of consciousness that normally flows through this page, can we pretend that this post is instead filled with powerful and emotionally charged rhetoric?
An expertly crafted treatise on charitable giving that makes your heart soar with philanthropic joy and inspires you to donate, either by giving money directly or by simply linking our page on your social media accounts and getting the word out to others.
This glorious stream of prose might talk about how I got a chance to meet some of the patients in the cancer ward at Texas Children’s Hospital not long before Daphne was born, the very kids who would be the end recipients of your donation.
And it would describe, in moving detail, how each of these kids are so used to being intravenously attached to giant bags of chemicals that they barely even notice the IV poles they’re pushing around with their little hands anymore. And how the first thing they do when entering a room is sheepishly scan the walls for a place to plug in their monitoring equipment before it starts beeping.
I’d tell you how quickly you’d see that these are just children. How one told me he was looking forward to playing football soon with his brother. Another was ready to start her dance classes again. And one little girl just wanted to be strong enough to get out of her wheelchair. These sound unreal don’t they? Like I’m trying to guilt you into a donation?
It’s completely real.
Their hopes were just that simple.
They basically just wanted to go home.
At this point I’d write an eloquent and grounding paragraph about how these are all just kids who want to be normal and how unfair and infuriating it is that they’re having to suffer the way they are.
Or maybe I’d regale you with the tale of how, when I told a table full of 5 to 10-year-olds what we were doing for them, they gushed about how lucky we are to be allowed to play video games “FOR 24 WHOLE HOURS!” and begged to be able to play with us. One asked if I was going to come pick him up and bring him to my house so he could play too.
I simply smiled and said, “we’ll see…”
Because how can you say “no” something like that?
Perhaps I’d also write about how I got to meet their parents. How their faces were sunken and stoic from months, sometimes years, of stress and worry. And how they didn’t really seem all that interested in what we were doing for their kids, because their entire focus is on the tenuous health of their child. There’s zero room for anything else.
That’s all they do. All day. Every day. Fight the worry. Appear to be strong for their little one. Quietly hope and pray. Cry in the dark.
I’d tell you of the makeshift beds that lay strewn in the corners of every single room I visited, where these parents slept each night. This is something that I understand a little better now that I’m a parent.
How could they possibly be anywhere else?
I’d also include an inspiring, if not slightly boastful, section about how, back when we started this little team in 2009, we helped Extra Life raise a whopping $450,000. This total has doubled each year since, and we hit $8.3 million last November. Now, I know $16 million dollars sounds like a ludicrous total. But maybe…if we all pitch in…
And I’d definitely remind you that we all have a chance to make a difference. You. All of us. Right now. We can create a silent karmic echo, sounding out from living rooms and bedrooms and laptops and tablets and cell phones from all over the world, and reaching kids who’ve been dealt rags of a hand and who want nothing more than to just feel better.
That’s what I’d like to have written.
That would’ve been awesome.
But now let’s stop pretending. And if you can, please CLICK ON THIS ADORABLE MONKEY BELOW and hit the blue “DONATE” button just below my name at the top of the page. Or, if not on mine, then on any player of your choice.
Because these kids, and their parents, have been through enough. And if we can help them even the tiniest of fractions then it’s on us to do everything we can.
And, as I always do, I’ll thank you on behalf of all the little ones who can’t.
I will be occasionally livestreaming via the BumbleDad Facebook account, and I’d like to preemptively apologize for any spamming of your feed that this might cause on Saturday.