Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Games Help Children With Leukemia Find "True Courage"

(NAPSI)-Playing games online could help win the battle against leukemia.

A new program gives families something fun to do together while helping the approximately 895,000 people living with a blood cancer. It all started with one father's determination to turn a devastating situation into a positive way to bring a cure closer for others.

Taylor Carol was a typical 11-year-old boy until he got hit by a pitch during a baseball game in 2006. Follow-up testing revealed something more ominous than an injured elbow--it showed a particularly lethal form of leukemia that does not respond to normal treatment.

The stunning diagnosis led the family to relocate to Seattle for a year so Taylor could receive a bone marrow transplant at Seattle Children's Hospital. Keeping vigil while Taylor fought for his life, his father, software designer Jim Carol, focused his energy on finding a way to help Taylor and other children going through a similar ordeal. The result was Pledgeplay, an innovative, customizable, online casual games and fundraising platform.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has partnered with Pledgeplay to launch lls.Play2Cures.org, a site that allows participants to play casual games online while donating money to help find cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

"More children are impacted by leukemia than any other cancer," says Nancy L. Klein, LLS's chief marketing and revenue officer. "The online games are designed to appeal to parents and grandparents who are interested in helping children just like their own."

Taylor helped his dad design the site and evaluate the games. He's also the patient honoree for the site. "Helping with the site was really fun and helped me get my mind off how terrible I was feeling," says Taylor.

Players purchase tokens online--$1 per token and a minimum of $10--to choose from six games, such as solitaire and miniature golf. Each token purchased will help fund blood cancer research and patient services.

Taylor returned to school in 2007 and is flourishing in his singing and acting. While at the hospital he met Matt Messina, the composer for the film "Juno," and together they collaborated on a song called "True Courage," which Taylor has performed for live audiences, including a gala at the 100th anniversary of Seattle Children's Hospital and with the Seattle Symphony.

For more information, visit www.lls.play2cures.org.

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