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Posted July 9, 2014 by Tim Wells in Kids

Why I Extra Life

Extra Life put out a call on Twitter yesterday, asking people to submit their personal stories about what motivates them to participate.

If you’re not familiar with Extra Life, it is a charity, driven by the gaming community, that benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Last year, gamers raised over $4 million. And every. single. penny. went to the hospitals.

I submitted the following story about my daughter, Faith. I’m sharing it here, too, so that my readers can understand why Extra Life is so important to me and my family.

I Extra Life because the mental image of my youngest child’s face, sick and scared, is always fresh in my memory. And because, thanks to the Marshfield, Wisconsin Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, I get to see that face, healthy and smiling, every day when I go home.

Why I Extra Life: Faith in the hospital

Faith, during one of her many hospital stays.

Faith was first diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when she was 4 years old. She spent the next 3 years in and out of the hospital with Crohn’s-related issues, including a cytomegalovirus infection that attacked her lungs. During that particular 2-week hospital stay, Faith suffered from pneumonia, a pox-type skin rash, and extremely high fevers. The medication used to treat the infection was so toxic, that the nurses administering it had to wear hazmat-like protective gowns to protect themselves from it. As a parent, it was the most scared I’ve ever been. I still get emotional even thinking about it.

Fortunately, Faith received top-notch care from the doctors, nurses, and Child Life Specialists at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Marshfield. They not only got my little girl healthy again, but they helped her – and us – get through a traumatic situation.

The doctors at Saint Joseph’s worked tirelessly with Faith’s specialist to find the right combination of medications to help prevent her frequent flair-ups.

Why I Extra Life: Faith 1 year remission

Faith’s first full year of remission.

I’m happy to report that it has been 2 1/2 years since Faith’s last hospital stay. She will be turning 10 this year, and is a spirited kid who’s no longer afraid to face each day. She enjoys playing outside with her big sister and neighborhood friends, but she’s also a chip off the old gamer block, and loves to flex her creativity in Minecraft and LittleBigPlanet.

I first learned of Extra Life last year. Thanks to my awesome team members, including Faith’s big brother, Dylan, we were able to raise $1,125. We’ve put together an Extra Life team page at and hope to crush last year’s goal.

Dylan and I are once again playing for Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Marshfield, where Faith received such excellent and caring treatment. I plan to stream quite a bit of Hearthstone gameplay. Faith has specially requested that part of this year’s stream include Minecraft, so expect to see some of that as well.

Who knows? I might even talk Faith into making an appearance. Everybody should experience the smile of a healed kid.

Now that you’ve met Faith (or Papie Bug, as she’s known around our house), you have an idea of why I get so passionate about Extra Life. You can help, too. Donations are very much appreciated, and there is no such thing as “too small.” Every dollar helps! Please click here to donate.

Can’t donate? No problem. You can join my Extra Life team and help us raise money.

If neither of those things are an option, you can still help by sharing this post with your friends and spreading the word on social media. Together, we can touch a lot of sick kids’ lives.

You can read more about Faith’s journey with Crohn’s Disease on my wife’s blog, here and here.

Tim Wells

Dad, husband, gamer, blogger, geek. Not necessarily in that order.