Why I donated to Desert Bus For Hope and Child’s Play

This entry is a bit different from my usual blog entry. For one thing, I’m not usually fighting back tears. My brother has cancer. He is 21. At the end of his first year of university he started to get really sick; losing a lot of weight, and some psychiatric problems that he’d never had before. It turned out he had what they thought was a non-cancerous brain tumour. After half a year of radiation therapy it had shrunk enough to be operable, and they removed the parts pressing on his brain, and we thought it was over.

When I found that out it was the best day of my life.

This fall he started having those problems again, and they found the tumour is back, and cancerous. He is now undergoing chemotherapy. The outlook is, he tells us, really positive, and hopefully he will only have to do 3-4 months of twice a week chemo. I’m still more scared then I’ve ever been in my life. Last time I was optimistic, everything seemed good, he could beat this. This time…I’m terrified out of my mind. I can’t do much to help him, aside from chat with him about movies and such, stay up with him when he comes home on the weekends as he is a night owl.

One thing I can do is give a bit of my money to charity, to hopefully help others.

I just finished giving some money to Child’s Play, via Desert Bus For Hope.

Desert Bus is the creating of a Canadian comedy group called Loading Ready Run. They play the worlds worst game for about 5 days, the exact amount of time determined by how much money for Child’s Play they raise. Child’s Play is a charity started by the webcomic Penny Arcade (Often NSFW) that gets video games for kids in hospital.

I am not sure exactly when I started watching Desert Bus; I *think* it was Desert Bus 1, as I remember it being a new thing, it was in a basement of some sort, and recall something about the camera and an elastic band. I didn’t watch much, as I had exams, so I can’t be sure. Anyway, I enjoyed watching, but never donated money as I preferred to give to places that funded research, like the Canadian Cancer Society. This made sense to my scientific Asperger’s brain; you could save more people that way. That has changed now, as I’ve seen what a comfort having a game can be.

Last year my brother was sick enough that he had to drop out of classes on medical leave. He tried to develop some hobbies to fill his time, but he didn’t have much energy, and as the radiation sickness got work, enough focus. He started out reading a lot of books, but rapidly found he couldn’t concentrate enough to read for long periods. He became a movie buff, something he has kept up; He made a list of every movie he wanted to see, and as of early last summer he’d watched something like 130 of them. However, you can only watch so many movies, or so he tells me. He spent a lot of time playing games. During the summer while I was in BC he became a huge fan of Mass Effect and beat the first two several times, to get all the options; he was really looking forward to the ending, and once told me that he really wanted to finish the radiation by the time it came out, so he’d be healthy enough to play it. (He did, beat it 3 times, and was pissed at the ending). The first game I remember talking to him a lot about was Skyrim. He was playing that about the time he moved back home, playing a Wood Elf sniper. I made a Breton mage and we spent a fair bit of time talking about the game, but he got sicker, and didn’t have the energy to focus on it. Then he moved to other games, I don’t remember them as well, as I didn’t play them. Racing games I think? Some sports games? I recall some XBLA arcade football game that he played a lot of back on the N64, and a golf game. A lot of League of Legends (he plays support).

Anyway, games were one of the things he could do a lot, except when he was at his most sick. He could lie on the couch and play on the xbox, even when he couldn’t walk very well, though his left hand shaking restricted the type of games as I recall. It was one of the few things I could talk to him about, since I understand games, even if we don’t normally like the same genres. I…I want to give other kids some of that comfort, now that I’ve seen how much that helped him. That is why I gave to Child’s Play. I’m not saying you should, but you know, if you have some extra money, instead of buying a game for yourself why not send the Desert Bus guys some cash? If you want to give to some place to help treat other people with cancer, that is also cool.

Thank you to anyone who does give money.

Sorry this was so long, I’m not thinking very clearly, and don’t have the strength to reread and edit it.

Oh, I also wanted to say thank you to the Loading Ready Run people. There have been some really dark days recently, and on some of them your videos helped me smile again, thank you.

–Canageek

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