I’ll begin this entry by once again giving a big thank you to all those who through some contribution or another helped to make the Push the Button Initiative a reality – Thank you!
Whilst it would be cliched to say the whole experience has had a profound effect on Josefin and I, finding the right words to best articulate this whole experience is proving a challenge on its own. However I’ll do my best to give some insight into the distribution of some of the games and merchandise we received from some of our many partners.
On Monday the 12th of December, a large consignment of merchandise was sent by courier to Barncancerföreningen. This package consisting of shirts, games and an assortment of various goodies would be distributed by the association to health institutions in the Stockholm region (most notably Huddinge hospital).
My colleague Josefin headed off to Uppsala, where with Swedish Radio in tow handed out more donations to patients at Uppsala hospital. You can listen to her exploits here.
I made my way to Astrid Lindgren hospital in Solna. A trip made poignant by the fact it was my first visit here since 2001. You see my son, Leo spent a considerable amount of time being treated for a growth he had on his left leg. It would later turn out to be a sort of benign tumor known as Hemangiom .
I was warmly received at the hospital’s entrance by Monica Wessman (Chairperson at Barncancerförening) who led me up to the building’s cancer ward. As the doors swing open I am hit by an explosion of color and deliciously enticing smells. The ward was being prepped for a julbord which featured a wide array of dishes and snacks synonymous with the season. The walls were brightly colored and donned with signed football jerseys from clubs in and around the Stockholm area.
After brief introductions were made to the handful of volunteers and staff on hand, I set about laying out the gifts I came with and waited for the kids and their families to come out from their respective rooms.
Once they did arrive and introductions were made, the next few hours were spent voicing our shared appreciating for gaming. Clara, an 11 year old was particularly delighted to get her hands on a couple of expansion packs for The Sims 3, which she adored. As was the case with most of the kids and parents there, there was initially some skepticism as to the validity of what was being presented to them. Can I really have this game without having to pay for it? No bills will be sent later? Being a couple of questions I faced on several occasions. These were however quickly followed by proclamations of gratitude from both parents and kids.
Whilst I might have a hard time expressing the significance of what we do, a parent summed it up perfectly.
“I think it’s great that the games industry has decided to offer games directly to the patients. Whilst money is always needed for research, the kids and patients at the hospitals rarely get to see the end result of any such contributions. The games give them something they all love and enjoy! Right now! Something financial contributions sometimes fail to do. “
With that concise appraisal, I’ll end this post, but would like to say what we as gamers and within the gaming community simply see as a pastime has far a much deeper meaning for those we aim to reach and can only hope we sustain that level of commitment.
Once again thank you to all our supporters and season’s greetings!