It’s not very often we find happy news in the gaming industry. It’s usually all doom and gloom, drama and million-dollar company buyouts. This news story, however, is a very positive one – but like any good story, it has to start bad in order to get better.
Evan, a 14 year old from Tonypandy in Wales, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was just 10. This diagnosis led to him having to have life-saving surgery that left him with a month-long recovery in hospital.
Crohn’s disease is an incurable lifelong condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system and painful flare-ups that can cause damage to the body. This is what Evan has been dealing with from a young age, and it can cause disruption to everyday life, which Evan and his family know too well.
Evans mother, Dawn, stated that after his first surgery and recovery and after finally returning home, Evan “started pulling away and didn’t want to talk to anyone,” “It was very hard. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t talk to me.” A difficult time for the family, as a whole.
Sadly, at the age of 13, Evan returned to hospital for another surgery and then spent another three weeks recovering in hospital. Along with frequent visits to medical professionals, this led to Evan missing out on a lot of his childhood, leading to feelings of depression.
Evan’s only wish for his 14th birthday was an Alienware gaming PC; a way for him to reconnect with the friends he had been unable to spend time with due to his diagnosis, and a way to experience parts of his childhood that he had missed.
The Make-A-Wish UK charity took notice of that, and made Evan’s wishes come true when they helped to receive the Alienware laptop that he so desperately wanted. Evan’s mother says he was “honestly glowing.”
”I hadn’t seen him that happy for a very, very long time,” states Evan’s mother, “Evan himself called it the light at the end of the tunnel. It means he can stay connected with friends even when he misses school and helps take his mind off the pain when he has a Crohn’s flare-up. It’s even helped him to read faster.”
Reading a story like Evan’s really makes you stop and think about just how lucky we are to be able to pick up and controller and play whatever we like, when we want. It really does put things into perspective.
This is exactly the reason that supporting charities like Make-A-Wish UK is so very important, so they can continue helping people like Evan. SpecialEffect and Ablegamers are just two of the charities that help make gaming more accessible for people with disabilities. SpecialEffect holds a more dear place in my heart as they actually helped my nephew, Charlie, to play a video game for himself.