From Controllers to Compassion Gamers Unite for Change!
By Danika Fuller

“Every game played, every hour spent awake, echoes the resilience and compassion
of our community, shaping a future where every child’s story is one of healing
and possibility. Through Extra Life, we turn our love for gaming into a force for good,
helping to light the path of hope for children at the Stollery Children’s Hospital as well as
all the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
We are not just gamers; we are people with love and determination!” 
Danika Fuller (lilbud2012).

It all started with a little girl in Orange, Texas.”  

Extra Life is a fundraising program of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®. The Extra Life community fundraises year-round to change kids’ health and change the future. Donations go to local member hospitals to fund critical life-saving treatments and healthcare services, innovative research, vital pediatric medical equipment, and child life services.

Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised over $110 million for 170 hospitals to Change Kids’ Health to Change the Future.

Why Do Gamers Stay Awake for 24 Hours on Game Day?

Some might be wondering why a bunch of us gamers in Edmonton, AB, myself included, pull an all-nighter once a year. Well, it’s kind of a unique tradition. We do it to show solidarity with kids facing tough health challenges, you know? They’re the real heroes, enduring those long hospital stays like champs. So, we game nonstop for 24 hours straight, raising awareness and funds for hospitals like the Stollery Children’s Hospital. There is no pressure to go the full 24 hours! This year, like many other gamers, I am breaking it up into two 12-hour sessions! 

When I learned about Extra Life, I jumped at the chance to join my first Game Day just a few months later. I’m excited to share with you the personal reasons behind my participation in this year’s Extra Life Game Day fundraiser. It’s a tale of gratitude, resilience, and the profound impact of the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

My family’s journey with the Stollery started when I was just four and a half years old. It was one of those days that sticks with you. My little brother Quinton, curious as ever, accidentally sprayed me with oven cleaner, and suddenly, everything felt like it was spinning out of control. I remember the fear, the stinging pain—it’s all still so vivid even after 24 years.

But you know what? In the midst of all that chaos, something remarkable happened at the Stollery. The doctors and nurses there were like superheroes, working nonstop to save my eyesight. I mean, I owe them everything. Thanks to their dedication and expertise, I can still see the world’s beauty today.

The Stollery has been more than just a hospital for my family. Take my brother Riley, for example. When he was a pre-teen, he got hit by a car. It was a scary time for all of us, but the heroes at the Stollery stepped in with the care and support he needed to heal. Then, just a few years later, he had a bowel impaction that landed him back in the hospital. The Stollery was right there again, helping him get back on his feet.

My third brother Zachary’s experience really shows how amazing the Stollery is. He got the wrong medication dose from a pediatrician, but luckily, the doctors and nurses at the Stollery’s Emergency Department were on it. They swooped in and saved him from the overdose, showing just how dedicated they are to every kid’s well-being.

And then there’s our baby sister Emma. After waiting 14 years with three brothers in between us, she finally came along. She had a rough start, though—rapid breathing put her Life at risk, and she had to spend some time in the NICU at another hospital. But when she developed a severe infection that they missed, it was the Stollery’s expert team that stepped in. They took good care of her and ensured she got the follow-up care she needed to pull through.

As I embark on my fourth year as a Twitch streamer, I look forward to raising as much awareness as I can for Stollery Children’s Hospital through the amazing efforts of all the Extra Life Fundraisers. When I began gaming, I never thought this was where my hobby would take me and my community!

While I prepare to participate in this year’s Extra Life Game Day fundraiser from November 2 to November 3, I’m reminded of the incredible impact we can make together. It reflects our commitment to ensuring this vital institution continues to grow and thrive.

I invite you to join me and the Yeg Guild in supporting the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Your contributions will help provide vital care, research, and resources that make a difference for children and their families in times of need, whether through a monetary donation or simply spreading the word through social media.

Thank you for being part of this incredible journey of gratitude, hope, and healing! I also want to extend a heartfelt shout-out to my amazing friends, co-workers, and wolf pack, Ingrid, Cris, and Shelley at Schif And The City, for being my cheerleaders during the last two Game Days and as I gear up again for this upcoming Game Day! 

The Stollery Children’s Hospital means the world to us. It’s not just a hospital; it’s a safe haven where families like mine find hope and healing. Miracles happen there, and kids’ lives and futures are protected.

I truly believe that kids are the future of our society. They are the ones who will shape the world tomorrow. So, making sure they’re safe, healthy, and loved—it’s crucial. As the big sister of four, I try my best to live by these values every single day. I want to positively influence them, showing them what it means to care for others and make a difference!

For more information about how you can get involved, connect with the children’s hospital within your community.