24-hour video game marathon used for fundraiser
© Derek Montague/The Labradorian
Kristina, Spencer, Spencer Chubbs, and Charlie Chubbs, pose with some of the kids who raised $1679 to help with expenses associated with Charlie’s surgery. Those pictured include: front (l-r) — Jeff Clark, Spencer Chubbs, Kristina Chubbs (holding Charlie), and Carlito Hillier; back — Jeremy Winters, Brendan Stuckless, Chris Deering, Kye Hillier, Nick Parsons, and Michael Ghaney. Missing from Photo: Daniel Broomfield and Cole Pilgrim.
The people of Central Labrador are continuing to open up their hearts, and wallets, for the Chubbs family of North West River.
Ever since it was discovered, in April, that nine-month-old Charlie Chubbs would need skull surgery in St John’s to correct her craniosynostosis, thousands of dollars have been raised to help the family with the costs of travel, accommodation, and other expenses.
Craniosynostosis is a condition where spaces in an infant’s skull, called sutures, prematurely fuse and close. This often leads to the infant having an elongated head.
The biggest, and most successful fundraiser was the gofundme.com campaign, which provided the family with more than $5,000.
The latest act of good will came courtesy of a group of teenagers (and one nine-year-old) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, who raised $1679 through a video game marathon, held between May 16 and May 17.
“A lot of us know Spencer and when we heard that Charlie has to get the surgery, we all felt that we wanted to do something to help him out,” said 16-year-old marathon participant Kye Hillier.
“One of my buddies mentioned the game-a-thon idea to me … and we all thought it’d be a good idea to do it.”
Hillier and nine other kids stayed up 24 hours and played video games without a break. Prior to the event, each kid went door-to-door collecting donations. The $1679 raised exceeded their expectations.
“We set a goal for everyone to have at least $100 and a lot of people actually collected more,” said Hillier.
The 10 boys had three different consoles operating during the marathon: a Playstation, a Wii, and an Xbox. In total, thee kids played between 15 and 20 different games non-stop.
A few days after the game-a-thon, the kids presented Charlie’s parents, Spencer and Kristina Chubbs, with the money.
This latest donation, and past ones, has warmed the hearts of Spencer and Kristina.
“It’s amazing and it’s still going to help out so much because we’re going to be traveling now for God-knows how many years, going back and forth from the Janeway (hospital) to do checkups on her,” said Spencer.
A fast recovery
Charlie successfully underwent surgery at the Janeway Hospital on May 14. Since then, she has been making a speedy recovery. In fact, the child was able to come back home to Labrador seven days earlier then expected.
“After (the surgery) she was really swollen. She had swollen eyes … Her whole body was puffy,” recalled Spencer.
“But she started healing up. The swelling started going down. Three or four days after the surgery, she was back to being as jolly as she is now.”
Spencer called Charlie’s surgery the longest four and a half hours of his life. He and Kristina are relieved that it’s over.
“It’s a big weight off our shoulders. It’s like we can finally breathe again,” said Spencer.
“It’s still hard to see her with the (scar) across her head, but when you look at her and she’s smiling at you, it’s clear she’s feeling much better.”
Even though the hardest part is over, Charlie and the Chubbs family will still have to make occasional checkups at the Janeway. Much of the money that’s been raised, including the $1679 game-a-thon funds, will be used for those future visits.