For 11-year-old Jayden, playing video games allows him to engage in new experiences and immerse himself in a world unlike anything imaginable. After finding out that he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2014, Jayden - Jay for short - found himself playing his video games even more so than usual to escape his reality of dealing with childhood cancer.
“His diagnosis came as a shock to our family,” said Jay’s mom Roberta. “The chemotherapy takes a lot of energy out of him so he really doesn’t have the energy to do anything super active. That’s why playing video games for him is an escape and a sense of normalcy for him; it’s also why his wish was that much more meaningful.”
After Jay was referred to Make-A-Wish Colorado, he decided that his wish was to have a gaming room with the latest and greatest games and technology. Jay’s family decided to keep the actual wish day a surprise from Jay so the planning was done in secret.
On the day of Jay’s gaming room wish, Jay’s mom told him that their local Game Stop store was having a sale and that they should go check it out. While they were driving to Game Stop, Jay’s dad stayed home to help members of Best Buy set up Jay’s new TV, surround sound and gaming systems for the ultimate gaming room wish!
Jay and his family arrived at Game Stop and were greeted by Jay’s favorite superhero, Batman, and he was given a gift card to purchase any game, device or item he wanted. Game Stop even got him a Batman-themed cake!
“When we left our house for Game Stop in the morning, Jay wasn’t feeling great,” said Roberta. “But when we left and were driving home, he was a different person. Jay was chatty and in good spirits, which made the surprise of coming home to a brand new gaming room that much better. The wish transformed him.”
Jay and his family are able to use the gaming room together. It’s a place for Jay to relax and unwind in the unique worlds of his games and help distract him from upcoming chemotherapy treatments.
“I love my gaming room,” said Jay. “It’s awesome!”
Follow Jay’s blog at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jaydenbertrand