Gaming4Guts Brings Together Gamers & Patients in the Search for IBD Cures
Several years ago, IBD patients Rob Barkoo and Brad Watson-Davelaar crossed paths through several Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis Facebook groups. Rob was building his Crohn’s Gamer persona in the light of what the Crohn’s Awareness Project had been doing within the online IBD community. Together, Rob and Brad came up with the idea of web-streaming their favorite hobby, gaming, for 24 straight hours to raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. It was then that Gaming4Guts was born.
That first year, Gaming4Guts raised over $200, but that was only the start of what it would do for the community in the coming years. Shortly after that first event, John Trenbeath streamed his BeatCrohn’s event to the web through a local friend’s gaming shop (Game Bros), raising $1,100 for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. It wasn’t long before BeatCrohn’s and Gaming4Guts were brought together, and became what it is today.
The second year of Gaming4Guts raised over $2,000 – a massive jump over the year prior. However, the third year would be difficult. Both Rob and Brad were going through a host of health issues, barely able to think about the event. However, John kept the event going, checking back in every few weeks, bolstering Rob and Brad’s confidence until just a few weeks before the event when they decided they were all in. In teh end, year three broke records, raising just under $7,000 to support the Foundation’s mission of finding cures for IBD and improving the quality of life for patients.
In its fourth year, Gaming4Guts has grown into a 72-hour event spanning groups of streams as well as a host of friends and family partaking in the fun. Rachael Bruffey joined Rob, Brad, and John in helping to organize the event. And now, with only a few days before it launches on December 1, they are on track to break last year’s record.
Gaming4Guts, which started as a shared hobby, shows no signs of slowing down. They are continually thinking to the future and what this event could evolve into, and have realize that it is becoming essential to their communities – gamers and patients affected by Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
To learn more about Gaming4Guts, visit https://fundraise.ccfa.org/campaign/gaming4guts/c148725.