MSU Students Hold Gaming Marathon for Cancer Patients
Jay Ford's story touched Michigan State University students who decided they wanted to help kids at Sparrow by doing something that Jay loved--- playing video games.
The memory of a Perry High School graduate who lost his life to cancer this past summer will live on, thanks to a big contribution he made to kids at Sparrow Hospital.
Jay Ford had a passion for video games. They were an escape for him when he was in the hospital undergoing cancer treatments. Jay spent more than 200 days in the hospital in 2010. The 21-year old was an avid gamer, and decided to use his own money to buy a TV and gaming system for the pediatric unit at Sparrow. Jay lost his battle with cancer this past July, but now some MSU students are working to keep his memory alive.
Jay Ford made people smile - his parents, his doctors and his friends, even as he fought cancer three times. Jay was diagnosed with Leukemia at age seven. That's when he first visited Sparrow Hospital's pediatric unit. After 8 years cancer free, he was admitted again, and he knew he wanted to do something to make himself and the kids around him feel at home.
"He purchased a flat screen TV and an X-Box system, and the carpentry shop here had it bolted to a cart so kids could have it rolled into their room and play with it," said Stephania Ford, Jay's Mom.
Jay's friends would visit him, and they'd use the big screen for video game tournaments. He saw that other kids loved the TV, too. So when he was very sick, Jay told his parents to continue donating items after he was gone. When he passed away in July, Bradley's Legacy was created-- a fund that allows the ford's to purchase items like video games, TVs, and movies for Sparrow Hospital's Pediatric Unit.
"It helps for him to live on somehow and to help other kids who are in the same situation up here," said Mrs. Ford.
And Jay is living on. His story touched Michigan State University students who decided they wanted to help kids at Sparrow by doing something that Jay loved--- playing video games.
"Sometimes people believe all young people do is sit down and do gaming, so why not do what people love the most... charity and gaming," said Ramonda Kindle, Community Director Hubbard Hall MSU.
And students will do plenty of both. supported by donations from the community. Students will play for 24-hours straight all for the Children's Miracle Network.
"You hit hour twenty, and the end is in sight, and everyone gets their energy back... it's really invigorating. And then hour 24, hey you're done. And people usually fall asleep at their computer," said Mitch Alpiner an MSU Junior participating.
But they'll fall asleep feeling proud, knowing they played for sick kids like Jay, many of whom love the games that they do. All proceeds for this weekend's gaming event go directly to the pediatric unit at Sparrow, the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in Lansing.
If you're an MSU student or faculty member and would like to sign up to play you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal is to raise $40,000.