November 3, 2018 is going to be a special day for me indeed this year. Not only will I turn 40 years old on that day, but I have also dedicated myself to participate in this year’s 24-hour charity gaming event, Extra Life. Extra Life raises money for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country, and for this year’s event, the Extra Life branch in Los Angeles that I have associated myself with is raising money to benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – a non-profit academic and research center for children in critical condition and which often require life-saving medical treatment. CHLA is the largest regional referral center for children and has been ranked as the #6 hospital in the US and the #1 ranked children’s hospital in California by US News & World Report for their continuing efforts to benefit children in need of severe and continued medical treatment.
I have always said that I wanted to do something special for my 40th birthday, but I had no idea what it was exactly. I thought of the usual things to do – a huge party, a night out drinking with friends, a quiet night with my wife and kids… a huge range of festivities had crossed my mind about what to do on November 3rd. But then I received an email last month from a team, Kevin Martinez, Mike & Lou, representing Extra Life that I had met last year at LA Comic Con and it struck me as something that I really wanted to participate in. I had heard of Extra Life and what they have done over the past several years and the idea of doing something like this to benefit those in need of additional help. And the more I thought of it, the more I learned about Extra Life and how I could help, it became almost like a calling for me as to what I needed to do this year to make my birthday special – not just for me, but for those who could benefit from whatever I could do to raise money to support these children’s hospitals around the country, especially those helped by CHLA.
To celebrate this day with me, and to also participate in the event as well, I have enlisted the help of my three kids – Lily, Alex, and Kay – who will also be gaming with me on this day, as well as that of my wife, Dezi. Together, as a family, we will stream our gaming event live for 24 hours on our Twitch channel, geekXpop, as well as being on our Facebook Live, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts to share what we are doing throughout the 24-hour event. I will also try to enlist some of our gXp friends to help us with this event and participate with us as well. Friends, family, followers, acquaintances… I really want to make this a super special day for me and for those we are hoping to benefit. And to make this event a success that I am hoping for it to be, I am setting a goal of raising $500 for Extra Life to benefit CHLA.
$500 and you can help make this day special for a number of people. And who doesn’t want to donate money to a charity meant to help children’s hospitals? Who doesn’t want to help children in need of must-needed medical attention? This kind of charity is right up my alley as I usually donate my money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because of my family’s long-time association with St. Jude as the patron saint of my family. I may not be religious myself but I certainly stand behind everything that the people at St. Jude have been doing over the years. This time, I get to help a cause that I find just as worthy and closer to home that helps benefit the same people that I have been helping for over 20 years now.
I was lucky that my three kids were born healthy children and have remained healthy throughout the years. Yeah, they have their injuries here and there, and my youngest is dealing with some psychological issues that he has inherited from me, but it is nothing when compared to those families’ children who were born with severe illnesses or have been diagnosed with something severe later in their childhood. I realize how lucky my family has been in regards and because of that I feel that it has been my duty and my calling to help families who have been less fortunate – and that is how I feel about Extra Life this year. I feel that this is something that I just need to do. And if I can convince some of you to help me achieve my goal of raising $500 to help Extra Life and CHLA, it would make this a huge success.
If you want to help me out through the year as we head into November 3rd, you can visit my Extra Life page and donate directly to Extra Life. I thank you all for your time and I hope you will consider donating to this really worthy cause. #ForTheKids
If you would also like to participate in Extra Life 2018, you can visit www.extra-life.org and sign-up to play and benefit a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital near you. And to check out the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital organization, please visit CMNHospitals.org or their Facebook page facebook.com/CMNHospitals.