Cancer patient gives the gift of gaming to other kids
When Hazen Hathorn, 7, started chemotherapy for a rare childhood cancer about two years ago, he discovered a good way to entertain himself during his hospital visits: video games.
Therefore, when Make-A-Wish Oregon asked him what he would like for his wish, he had a novel thought: “He wanted other kids to be able to play video games while they are in the hospital,” says his mother, Sara Heskett of Portland.
thought his idea was great and donated seven gaming systems and seven televisions, along with handheld players and dozens of video games to Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel
. The systems and the TVs will be built into portable consoles that can be wheeled into patient rooms, allowing the kids to play in their hospital room.
Randall Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish and Game Stop put together a special event on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, bringing Hazen and his family to the hospital in a limo and setting up some of the systems at the hospital to allow Hazen and several current patients to play games. Hazen finished his six-month chemo treatment in April 2015 and has been healthy since.
Looked forward going to the hospital
“In the hospital with an IV in your arm for a day a time, there is not much a 4-year-old boy can do,” says Sara, who explains that Hazen had to undergo several treatments in which he spent an entire day and night in the hospital receiving chemotherapy. “When the child life specialist brought him an iPad, it really helped. And then when he had to come back for weekly chemo, he actually looked forward to the visits because he could play games.”
As great as the care was, Sara says, the gaming systems were old and often not available. So when Make-A-Wish came to Hazen - kids with a life-threatening diagnosis receive a wish - he and his parents cooked up the idea to get new gaming systems for the hospital.
“We don’t even have a gaming system at home,” Sara says. “But Hazen talked about how important it was to have video games to get him through those hospital visits and that playing games helped him feel safe. We are happy to be able to help Randall Children’s Hospital. It is difficult for me to put into words the quality of the care, both physical and emotional, that Hazen received from the staff.”
Hazen will go back to the hospital in April for his two-year post-chemo checkup. His parents are hoping he receives another “all-clear” reading. Hazen is looking forward the new games. "I want to come back and play Super Mario Maker," he says, “Video games make the hospital fun!”
Click here to watch the KATU story.
Click here to watch the FOX12 story.
For media inquiries, contact Ashley Stanford Cone.
Photos courtesy of Hathorn family and Legacy staff.