To Gabe, Tycho, and all those amazing contributors.
I felt I needed to write this, to thank you and your wonderful organization for what you have done. I have been a faithful reader of Penny Arcade for a few years now, but this is the first time I have actually taken the time to look over the Child’s Play website. And I was stunned to see that the IWK Children’s Hospital was included on the list of hospitals which would receive donations. The realization that you were helping children everywhere, not just in your own town, or even your own country, brought me to tears.
You see, I was one of those kids who’s earliest memories are of hospital waiting rooms. I spent a large chunk of my childhood in the IWK, enduring four or five surgeries before I was even eight years old. I was born with abnormally small ear canals, essentially leaving me deaf for much of my early life. I learned to read almost before I could speak; I could not properly hear my parents speak in order to imitate them. I was cut off from a world of sound and often felt like an outcast, as even after surgery I had to learn to speak without a lisp.
I was accident prone as well; my balance having been severely affected by the quality of my hearing. And yet even though I made so many trips to the hospital, even though I endured surgery which would leave me feeling ill for days afterward, the games room in the IWK had always been a sanctuary. Where I could play with other children who were like me; who were ill and away from home, but for a short little while, there was a little bit of normality in our lives. We could play and laugh, and forget that we had to be careful of the IV which trailed behind us wherever we went. We could be children again, even if it was only for that short span of time.
I just wanted to thank each and every person who has contributed to this wonderful charity, because I feel as if each and every one of you has touched my life by touching the lives of these children you help. You’re giving comfort to children who are told to be strong. You’re bringing joy to kids too ill to laugh. And most importantly, you are restoring their hope. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you.
A gamer, a fan, and a former sick kid.