Thursday, 25 February 2016

You win some, you cheer some

Competition began Wednesday morning here at Extra Life United, but the champion kids still stole the show, at least for Trish and I.

While we both won some money by each making the final table for a game, our greatest moments of the event's first full day were interactions with the real heroes here at Children's Miracle Network's Momentum conference.

Trish decided to randomly stop and chat with one of the kids - easy to spot because they have special red shirts. They hadn't heard of Extra Life before so she gave them the spiel, noting how we'd raised US$46,000 for our hospital through #Dominicstrong.

As expected, they're having an incredible time this week, cheered everywhere they go and garnering celebrity treatment. Trish made sure to invite the family to play some games with us Thursday night.

At the end of the conversation, the child's mom thanked Trish.

My moment game in the middle of playing a card game called Love Letter. Our hospital rep Meghan came to the table with Peyton, the Alberta Children's Hospital champion child. She's six and spent more than 40 days on extracorporeal life support after contracting a deadly infection and toxic shock syndrome.

Knowing her bedtime might not work out to play games Thursday night, I asked if she wanted to play right then and there.

"Yes," she replied sweetly.

So we stopped our game and brought out Connect Four, which it turns out Peyton is an expert at. She beat fellow gamer Lora and I, and had the biggest smile.

I lost at Love Letter, but it didn't matter much. I had my prize in that time with Peyton.

We did, however, win a bit of money too. In the tournament's opening game I won my table of Blokus, a Tetris-like puzzle game where you try to place all your pieces on a game board. I finished third in the final, winning US$525 for the Alberta Children's.

Trish won her table of Liar's Dice, a dice-predicting, honesty-testing challenge. Clearly not wanting there to be any bad blood between us, she also managed a third-place finish in the final, live-broadcasted table.

Together we won US$1,050. This morning we both lost out in Settlers of Catan tables, and won't advance to the afternoon's overall top-eight round but are thrilled to bring something home for Peyton and all the kids at the hospital in Calgary.

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