My little sister has intracranial hypertension, which basically means that her body makes way too much spinal fluid and it starts to squeeze her brain and give her the worst headache ever. She’s been hospitalized a dozen times since she was 12 and has had to have six spinal taps to drain all the extra fluid. We live in Salt Lake City, Utah and the only hospital in the state that she can go to for the specialized care she needs is the Primary Children’s Medical Center right next to the University of Utah.
The pain from the headaches and severe exhaustion and illness caused by the medicine she takes while hospitalized mean that she doesn’t have the mental facilities required to read a book or do her school work while she’s in, so pretty much she just gets to play the cheap boardgames the hospital keeps around that were probably picked up at a secondhand store somewhere.
The last time she was in, though—about a year ago—the Child’s Play fairy had visited and left an Xbox 360 Core System in her room. She’d been watching me play Fallout 3 for a few weeks at home, and was interested, so I snuck in my own 360’s external hard drive and Fallout 3 into her hospital room the first night she was in the hospital. She was hospitalized for nearly a week and beat the entire main storyline of the game and even spent some time getting familiar with the dozen or so Arcade titles I had bought. According to the doctors, it was the quickest recovery she had ever made out of the many hospital stays she had made up to then.
So, I’m really thankful for Child’s Play. This charity really helped my baby sister when she was at her worst and when I think how many other millions of people’s younger siblings have the same story, it just makes me bawl like a little girl.