Character-based Catch-ups: Savanah B.

 

Character-Based Catch-ups are a new blog series featuring the inspiring beneficiaries of GameChanger Charity’s Character-Based Scholarship program.

Every day, we’re touched by the kind of impact supporters like you have made possible.

We’re glad to bring you another check-in from a previous Character-Based Scholarship recipient Savanah:

“Dear GameChanger Charity,

No words can express the gratitude I feel for the grant you awarded me. Thank you so much! With the money you gave me, I will be able to afford living [here] over this next semester.

If everything goes according to plan, I hope to earn my degree and work for a nonprofit so I can help others like you have helped me.

Once again, thank you! Please let me know if I can help in any way.

 

Sincerely,

Savanah B.

 

Character-Based Catch-ups: Apolonio ‘Polo’ S.

 

Character-Based Catch-ups are a new blog series featuring the inspiring beneficiaries of GameChanger Charity’s Character-Based Scholarship program.

A huge thanks to our partners over at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital for helping us reconnect with Polo.

Below are some words from an attending caregiver who had this to say:

“After receiving your scholarship, Polo received a kidney transplant! This is wonderful news for a patient on dialysis. After organ transplants patients are immunosuppressed for a period of time post-transplant. That means that his immune system was too weak to go out to public places like malls, parks, or SCHOOL.

When he received the scholarship in June 2017, he was in the summer right after his high school graduation and planned to start college in the Fall. The timing of his transplant put a little delay on Polo beginning college as scheduled because he would have to miss part of his first semester due to his recovery.

I have been keeping in touch with Polo and assisting him with enrollment and he is planning to start in Spring 2019 and study in the Automotive Technology Program at [his] College. He hopes to become a mechanic and eventually open his own shop.

On behalf of Polo, he is so grateful for the scholarship and the timing of it!

Gratefully,

Adrienne E.
Teach-Education Liaison
Child Life Services
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital”

 

To our incredible supporters and partners, thank you so much for helping make incredible experiences like this happen.

Character-Based Catch-ups: Tanner F.

 

Character-Based Catch-ups are a new blog series featuring the inspiring beneficiaries of GameChanger Charity’s Character-Based Scholarship program.

A huge thanks to our partners over at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for helping us reconnect with Tanner!

After connecting with the caregivers who looked after Tanner, they had this to say:

“Tanner has about a year of treatment left, and he is very much looking forward to the end of it!

He continues to do well medically, despite issues with AVN from treatment.

Tanner is also doing very well in school, and is an honor roll student.

Tanner plans to study Civil Engineering, but has not decided on a school yet.”

An equally huge thanks to you, our supporters, and partners for helping make these programs possible! Your support makes it possible to improve the lives of patients through carepackages like Tanner’s:

Character-Based Catch-ups: Kamron S.

 

Character-Based Catch-ups are a new blog series featuring the inspiring beneficiaries of GameChanger Charity’s Character-Based Scholarship program.

“Hello all! My name is Kamron, and I was the recipient of a $5,000 GameChanger scholarship in 2015.

In December of 2014, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphona. I received a life-saving bone marrow transplant in February of 2016 and have been in remission ever since. In fact, in the summer of 2017, I had the amazing opportunity to meet my donor, Rahul, and his fianceé, Jessica. In addition, I visited them for a weekend at their apartment in Tempe, AZ during the end of November that year. Lastly, my family and I were invited to their wedding this August. It was a phenomenal experience.

I am currently a junior studying Business Administration with a minor in Psychology at [my] University. However, I am not physically on campus this semester. I am grateful because I am actually studying in Rome, Italy at the moment. Rome was one of the four destinations of my Make A Wish trip during summer of 2017 — and I knew I had to come back. It has been 2 months since I have been here, and it has been a life-changing experience so far. I am not looking forward to returning to the states in December.

GameChanger’s considerate scholarship made my dream of studying in Rome more possible. It is an organization I respect incredibly. I remember the joy on little patients’ faces when I once went around with them passing out gifts at [my hospital]. I am forever thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way because of them.

Kamron S.”

Scholarship Recipient Standing Up To Cancer

A Letter to Cancer‼

“It seems like you have control over my life, but really you don’t.

Your presence only makes me stronger, braver, and wiser. I choose how I think and speak, and the way I love. Those are the things you can’t touch, the fear of your name no longer haunts my soul. And the horrible feelings that you bring I ignore. I have a bigger Army, we will fight against you. This dictatorship you’ve been trying to create will stop because I own myself, my feelings, my body and I will survive this. In this life I’ve only been told that I cant do certain things because I’m sick, but I disagree, what about those who have no arms? And sell pretty flowers on the streets of new york? Or those who cant hear?

Like Mandy Harvey who lost her hearing and had no idea what her voice sounded like. She feels the vibrations of the instruments on the floor and creates beautiful music. Those are only obstacles, like being in an army, preparing yourself for harder situations, going through obstacles and hard training, for what? You may ask, To prepare yourself and become strong human beings. Stronger than any Rock in Central Park. That’s how I see myself.”

 

 

Meet Nathan – Our first Character Based Scholarship Recipient of 2018

On FRIDAY, JANUARY 12TH, 2018, at Platteview High School in Nebraska, Nathan Michaels received a scholarship to help him continue his education and personal goals.

A few months back, we received an email from our friends at Team Cancer America about a spirited young man who needed a bit of financial support.

Together with a few of the good people in our community, we were able to give one young man a well-deserved big surprise. Nathan Michaels received a Character Based Scholarship in front of his entire Senior Class!
Each time we select a recipient we also try to make a bit of magic happen to make the day extra special. This time around was no exception. In perfect GameChanger fashion, the scholarship was presented to Nathan by none other than YouTube Star Andrew Flair from Fishing with Flair, a rising star in the streaming world known for his skills and passion for fishing and outdoor living.
A special moment to note; Throughout his treatment, Nathans friends have shown up in force by shaving their heads to show support for the treatment he’s been going through and formed a “Band of Bald Brothers”.
When we witness this type of care and devotion to one’s friends it simply makes us proud. Way to help out in such a selfless manner for Nathan! We only wish all teens could have this type of support system who happen to be in similar situations.
“What an incredible celebration for not only Nathan but for the entire Senior Class. This class of 98 students had his back during his entire cancer journey and in his remission. Mr. Steve Joekel (Assistant Principal of Platteview High) deserves a huge thank you as well – he has been one of Nathan’s biggest advocate at the school. He did a fabulous job pulling this entire presentation together and made it a moment Nathan will NEVER forget.
Learn more about our Character Based Scholarship program by visiting our website or contacting us. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on new Character Based Scholarships, our VR camp, the Gamers Give Back Tour, and GameChanger Play Days.
Our missions thrive when the tech and gaming communities pitch in! The Character-Based Scholarship Program would not be possible if not for the support of partners like Twitch Prime community who generously donated the funds that we give out to scholarship recipients like Nathan Michaels. To learn more about our Character-Based Scholarship program, visit this page on the GameChanger Charity website!

Brittany Naylor – An Inspiration to All

Our most recent Character Based Scholarship recipient displays love and support for her fellow patients and their families. She is friendly and quick to make friends with new patients while showing them how to live life to its fullest during their stay at C.S. Mott’s in Michigan.

Realizing that her studies would be put on hold, Brittany has found many other creative ways to grow as a person and try to support her mother, sister, and herself. She uses social media platforms to share her experiences in the hospital and is a large advocate for the causes she believes in.

She is a huge supporter of GameChanger and was the first tester ever to stream live using VR in a hospital. It was during this stream that Brittany was able to speak with multiple audience members through Twitch including representatives from multiple charities and HTC Vive.

Brittany is a passionate artist and loves to write, rap, and sing. She worked with the music therapist at C.S. Mott’s and began producing a song with another patient. Unfortunately, her friend and fellow patient passed away before they could finish the production. Brittany completed the song and was able to perform it live on a local news channel. Even during this emotional time, she was advocating for the power of digital arts and music therapy to help others.

Before she was diagnosed with cancer, Brittany was studying to become a nurse. Her diagnosis put her studies on hold but did not halt her desire to help others. Even when she is physically drained and emotionally exhausted she finds strength in encouraging her peers.

Recently Brittany’s family has fallen on hard times. Even with all of her medical challenges, Brittany was fortunate enough to secure a two-bedroom apartment. She hopes to keep it so that she can provide a safe, stable place for herself and her sister to live while Brittany battles cancer.

Due to her physical limitations, Brittany is unable to work a traditional job or go to school. She has tried alternative ways to raise money through social media including a go fund me page

Despite her struggles, Brittany still tries to find new and creative ways to support herself financially while raising awareness about the needs and struggles of those in the hospital.

It is because of her unending selflessness and passion for the healing power of gaming that Brittany was selected to be a recipient of the GameChanger Character Based Scholarship program.

To learn more about Brittany and to watch a video about her, check out this link.

Our missions thrive when the tech and gaming communities pitch in! The Character-Based Scholarship Program would not be possible if not for the support of partners like Twitch Prime community who generously donated the funds that we give out to scholarship recipients such as Brittany Naylor and the other amazing patients we come across. To learn more about our Character-Based Scholarship program, visit this page on the GameChanger Charity website.

Meet Jack – Our Recent GameChanger Scholarship Recipient

 

The first time we met Jack, we walked into his room to find a high energy, enthusiastic young man who was making a positive difference with his support network of care providers and friends. Jack serves as a strong role model to other patients and the world around him.

One of the real highlights of working at GameChanger Charity is having the opportunity to meet some truly gifted young people. Unfortunately, we cross their paths when they and their families have been affected by a life-threatening illness that has caused virtually everything about their lives to change.

Often, those dramatic changes come right in the midst of critical times in their education process. In many circumstances, these young people and their families can no longer either pursue or continue their goal of securing a college education. It’s during these difficult times that the true character and resiliency of these patients and their families reveals itself.

That was the case of one of our recent scholarship winners, Jack Harrhy. Jack had been working hard since the age of 16 at part-time and sometimes full-time jobs whilst attending school and maintaining high grades. He had every intention of attending and graduating college so he could get a degree in Computer Sciences and to make a difference in the world.

Jack used his savings to pay for equipment he needed for school such as his laptop, etc. He also used it towards his tuition, and towards his successful filming/photography business for which he has bought all his own equipment. He has even turned a profit by supplying his services to others.

Jack told us he and his friends were making a documentary about his battle with cancer and they were actually filming and writing about the entire experience. His goal was to be able to share his experience and ultimate victory over cancer with others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

Due to his diagnosis and long treatment process, Jack was forced to step away from his pursuit of his college education in order to deal with this life challenge! It’s situations such as this when we have the chance to step in and “fill the gap” with a scholarship so Jack can get back to his education and the things he loves. When we describe these awards as “Character-Based Scholarships”, Jack serves as the perfect example!!

Thanks to the worldwide gaming community, we were able to make this gift possible.

A nice little note to end on, Jack is an avid gamer who freely admits to spending way to much money on Humble Bundles!!

Our missions thrive when the tech and gaming communities pitch in! The Character-Based Scholarship Program would not be possible if not for the support of partners like Twitch Prime community who generously donated the funds that we give out to scholarship recipients such as Jack Harrhy and the other amazing patients we come across. To learn more about our Character-Based Scholarship program, visit this page on the GameChanger Charity website.

GC Scholarship Awarded in San Francisco!

Recently, on our Gamers Give Back Tour, we made a stop at UCSF Benioff in San Francisco. It was here that we had the opportunity to meet an inspiring young man who goes by the name of Polo.

Polo lives in The San Francisco Bay Area and recently graduated from Mt. Diablo High School in Concord. We took notice of this young man due to his integrity and the responsibility he bestows upon himself in order to take care of his family. Polo is soft spoken and humble, but has a big heart.

 

We received this from a member of the hospital staff at UCSF Benioff:

I spoke to my colleagues in PDU and they all agree that we should nominate Polo. He is a very kind patient- takes care of his nieces and nephews, his sibling who also has a disability and helps out his father with his landscaping business.

 

Polo graduated high school after a full year on home & hospital instruction, an incredible accomplishment. The remaining details are best described from staff themselves:

“He was on home and hospital instruction this entire year, which means that he did not go to campus at all for any of his classes. A teacher from his school district visited his home weekly to complete his assignments. It takes a lot of self-motivation to complete school in this format because you essentially get a binder full of work to complete independently and when the teacher visits you next time it is to correct the work and go over the next week’s work assignments.

Polo would bring his work to dialysis where I would help him with assignments he wasn’t able to complete on his own. He managed to successfully meet all of his graduation requirements to graduate with peers! This is a pretty big deal, considering other students in his position with his diagnosis might complete school with a GED or not complete at all.

I have also been working with him on applying for financial aid and applying to college.

The plan is that he will start at Los Medanos College in Pittsburgh this July and study automotive engineering. He will be the first in his family to attend college!”

 

Wow! We couldn’t be more impressed by Polo’s spirit and kindness! From all of us here at GameChanger, we wish nothing but the best for Polo and his family!!!!