Looking back on our first ever Extra Life event in 2013, a couple of things stick out.
First, my goatee was a different colour. Feels like it's been white forever! But they say trauma can turn your hair white prematurely. I think it's a safe bet that's what happened.
Second, it is absolutely incredible that most of the people involved in that first 25-hour marathon will again be with us this Saturday at 8 a.m. when we do it for the 11th time. Chris didn't even create a fundraising page for himself until 2021, and I remember him passing out with a controller in his hand at 7 a.m. that first time. No, it's not the same as running a marathon (Chris, Jordan and Nicole have done a half-marathon), but it's still a unique challenge.
Third, and perhaps most important, there will be no evening Facetime with Dominic. We'll have to watch some of his videos instead. It's all we've got.
We got in to this because we wanted to give back to the place that did so much for him. And even though we are more and more disconnected from that place as time goes on, we hear so many stories of other kids in our community who need it. We want to remain connected, both to Dom, and the hospital, and this is one of the best things we've got.
Our team has raised more than $15,000 this year, which is both a good chunk of change and not even a blip on the Alberta Children's Hospital radar. There are bigwigs who drop that amount in an evening at one of their big galas. We can't compete. And we don't need to. Because every dollar does SOMETHING. It might be an extra couple animal-themed stickers to hold down a feeding tube instead of the basic ones, lessening the chance of a kid pulling it out and causing all sorts of problems. Or it might be a candy to give that kid's sibling who feels like they're not important because the other one's getting all the attention.
They aren't buying new MRI machines with our fundraising, but it is important. It was the little things that our hospital did that made life there more palatable, and it's little things that add up to big things - like us wanting to give back in Dominic's memory.Our group is now largely focused on board games, but there will still be MarioKart and Rocket League and Call of Duty played. We'll take a break to head over to SixOneSix for axe throwing, break out the cellphones for some Pokemon Go, and take part in some NSFW JackBox Games during the overnight hours.
I've got two shipments I'm tracking ahead of game day: One is The Last Dab: Xperience hot sauce, made with the new world record-holding Pepper X. The other is Black Death Mega Sours, which touts itself as the world's most sour candy. If we reach our team's US$15,000 (CDN$20,800) goal, a bunch of us are going to try both, but we're doing the sours if we his US$14,000.
In addition, we are rolling out the 20-sided dice again! If you make a donation of $10 or more during game day to any of the team members on the dice roll sheet, we'll get rolling and doing some crazy stuff.
James says he'll get an Extra Life-themed tattoo if he breaks $2,000, we want to earn Krista and Chris some rewards by hitting the $200 and $500 levels, and we'll break the US$240,000 lifetime mark as a team with another $2,000. That's more than CDN$330,000 - we raised US$226,918.75 if you add up all the past events' official totals prior to this year (yes, this is me putting that number in the blog to spare future calculating).
Stay tuned for Saturday! It's going to be a great time, as always.