Going the Extra Mile with Extra Life

For 44-year-old Sean Evans, playing video games is more than just a pastime – it is an opportunity to support the specialized pediatric programs at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

Extra Life gaming marathon participant Sean Evans. Support the event on November 7.

Extra Life gaming marathon participant Sean Evans. Support the event on November 7.

Sean participates in Extra Life, an annual 24-hour gaming marathon benefiting Children’s Miracle Network member hospitals. Gamers solicit pledges and donations from their friends and family in advance of the event. During the marathon, participants play their favourite video, board or lawn games in the comfort of their own homes, with all collected funds going toward their chosen children’s hospital.

“If you enjoy gaming,” says Sean, “this is your opportunity to take a frivolous activity and make a real difference in the lives of children.”

Currently residing in Kitchener, the former Dundas resident has been supporting McMaster Children’s Hospital since he began participating in Extra Life more than six years ago.

Last year, Sean’s 17-year-old daughter Eria began to experience excruciating headaches. She was diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), a condition that can lead to vision loss.

At McMaster Children’s Hospital, Eria underwent several spinal taps and was placed on medication during her five-day stay. She continues to see her ophthalmologist for monthly appointments and her condition is improving gradually.

“Everything about our experience at McMaster Children’s Hospital was phenomenal,” mentions Sean. “Extra Life is my way of giving back.”

This year’s Extra Life marathon will be held on November 7, 2015. Participants can opt-out of participating in the 24-hour challenge and can choose instead to divide the 24 hours into more manageable segments (such as two, 12-hour marathons). For more information, to become involved, or to sponsor a gamer or team, visit www.extra-life.org. Remember to select McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation as the Children’s Miracle Network member hospital you wish to support.