I'm currently sitting in the airport in Baltimore, waiting to catch the second leg of my flight to Orlando. I'm on my way to reconnect with friends, new and old, at Extra Life United. I'll be playing games, with hopes of bringing home some prize money for The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital.
Last year, my first, was a roller coaster of emotion. I was, at times, happier than I could even express and then overcome with the enormity and emotion of the whole experience. I heard the amazing stories of children from across North America and how their struggles had been successful against some of the most awful diseases you can imagine. I met these kids and their families and was in awe of their unflappable attitudes and gratefulness for the Children's Miracle Network and Extra Life.
And then I was immediately struck with how many kids lost their struggle, their families devastated and grieving and yet still able to tell their story and cling to the moments of joy.
Extra Life has brought me some amazing places. It has given me a chance to interact with people and share my passion for gaming. Most of all, it has been a balm for my soul. The world is a tough place, all we can do is try to make it a little better. It has lit my darkest days, knowing that maybe I helped put a smile on a kid's face despite all the pain and fear they have to face hospital time.
Wish me luck. Stay tuned to www.twitch.tv/extralife4kids to see the action.