This month we wanted to highlight longtime Child’s Play supporters Supercommuter. You may have seen them perform at PAX or heard their awesome music. Something you may not know is that 100% of their album proceeds are donated to Child’s Play, or the touching reason why. We asked Andy Myers, also known as Stenobot of the Supercommuters, to share his story.
Wheelie Cyberman, Julian (Itty Bitty Bot), Tron Juan, and Stenobot
“One question I get a lot is “Why does Supercommuter give all its album profits to Child’s Play?” The answer is more of a story, actually. In June of 2009, shortly after we finished recording the first Supercommuter album, my then three-year-old son (and Tron Juan’s nephew) Julian was diagnosed with leukemia—high-risk pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia, for all you medical nerds out there. Without warning, our lives were basically flipped upside down. Hospitals, doctors, and sick kids quickly became the norm. We were facing three-plus years of chemotherapy and other treatments, and the short- and long-term side effects that come along with them. We had a long road ahead.
For me, many things that once seemed so important—for example, making music and releasing albums—now felt a lot less so. All the non-essential stuff in our lives quickly faded away as we prepared for a long season of taking care of Julian. Over the next few months, we spent a lot of time in the Cancer Care facilities at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. Being in the hospital is hard, especially on the kids. A lot of them are stuck in the hospital for long periods of time, cut off from the outside world. These are just normal kids, and they can’t even go outside to play. Something as simple as having toys and videogames around makes a big difference. It gives them a little piece of home, of normalcy in a world where everything else seems backwards. The fact that an Xbox or Wii is waiting outside their room gives them something to look forward to after being poked and prodded. Also, games bring the kids together and give them a reason to get outside of their rooms. They facilitate a sense of community.
I’m sure a lot of you have dealt with cancer in one way or another. It sucks. It makes us feel so helpless. What can you do? Well, the truth is that there are things you can do. Supporting Child’s Play is one of those things. I like Child’s Play because it’s such a practical, tangible way to help. Having toys and games to play with makes an immediate difference in these kids’ lives. They’re also the first things to go when hospitals need to make budget cuts. Over the past few years, we’ve had a number of awesome, surprising experiences in the hospital that we knew were the result of Child’s Play funding—one particularly on Christmas Day, when we were unexpectedly stuck in the hospital over the holidays. In hindsight, they’re little things—but they meant so much in those desperate moments.
Julian is in remission now, and his chemotherapy is almost over. Why do we continue to give our album sales to Child’s Play? Well, Supercommuter has always been a labor of love, for myself and everyone else in the band. Giving to Child’s Play is something we know we can do. And it just feels like the right thing to do. It’s a small thing really, in the grand scheme of things. But it’s our thing, and we’re happy and honored to donate our music to a cause we all believe in.”
We are so grateful, honored, and touch by the generosity of Supercommuter and the community of incredible, supportive fans. If you’re attending PAX Prime this year- go rock out with these incredibly awesome musicians. Thank you, Supercommuter, for your wonderful support!
Here at Child’s Play, we often talk about the incredible community that supports us and how much it means to the cause. Fundraising comes in many forms, and this month we’d like to recognize the incredible organization of the Humble Bundle.
The Humble Bundle packages indie games into one collection, allowing the buyer to not only choose how much they want to pay, but also who they want the money to goto. Since 2010, Child’s Play has been honored to participate in the fundraiser, and incredibly enough, the fifth iteration, Humble Bundle V, has just hit the $3 million mark. The support provided by the Humble Bundle team and theircontributors makes a huge impact on our network of hospitals, and in turn, the lives of thousands of kids across the
We recently visited one of our partner facilities to see some of the impact provided by donation like the Humble Bundle. We were able to see a number of kids who had been positively impacted by your donations, includeding a young man named Stanley.
Stanley is severly autistic and mostly non-verbal; he is prone to outbursts and seizures.Stanley uses an iPad that the facility received from Child’s Play for many purposes: Adaptive software provides him with communication tools to speak for him, movies allow him to be educated and entertained, and a touchscreen enables him to interact
and play without struggle.
Most incredibly, Stanley has used his iPad to learn to play the piano. To an assembly of over 200 people, Stanley played “How to Save a Life” so beautifully that many of the guests were moved to tears. Donations made through Child’s Play make a huge impact in the lives of children like Stanley and many others in hospitals and care facilties around the world, and it’s all thanks to you.
From all of us at Child’s Play, thank you to the Humble Bundle staff, participating developers, and bundle purchasers.