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Thank you, gamers

At age 4, my son Adler Bear Carris was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, hydrocephalus, adrenal insufficiency and chronic pain. He was given a 40% chance to live and spent much of the next fifteen months of his childhood undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

During his time in the hospital, Adler fell in love with video games. He started with a few games on an iPad, but quickly graduated to an Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U and now a Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Alienware laptop. When you’re that young spending each day getting sick, losing your hair, losing weight and fighting to stay alive, you need an out. He had to find a way to distract himself from the pain, discomfort and fear, and for him that was video games. It’s what made him happy. It was his escape.

His love for video games is genuine because he had mobility issues for such a long time that he doesn’t play too many sports. Some of his other favorite games are PVZ2 Garden Warfare, Injustice (both 1 and 2), Street Fighter, Overwatch, Splatoon, Mortal Kombat (with the blood off), Roblox and anything Super Mario. During treatment, he actually got a lot of his physical therapy from Just Dance. That’s right – he literally danced his way through chemo!

We support Adler’s passion for video games because he deserves it. He fought for his life and won. His game is NOT over. Today, he’s a fun-loving 8-year-old boy with beautiful curly hair, glasses, smile and the personality to match. He’s a spunky kid with a lust for life because he knows the importance of living each day to its fullest.

I’d like to say thank you to all the gamers that came before him and will come after him because he’s one of you and we adore him and his love for the gaming community! He’s a righteous little dude who we proudly say is ours.

“Bold as Love” by Jimi Hendrix is his theme song because that’s exactly what he is. So this Game Day, be just that: Bold as Love. What you’re doing is so important and means so much to so many kids, just like Adler.

Game On,

Elizabeth Carris, Adler’s mom

Sign up for Extra Life to game for Lurie Children’s at and follow Adler’s journey on Facebook at Life with Our Little Superhero Adler Bear