Kids Game for Joy thanks to Dunkin’ & Comcast
In celebration of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September the Dunkin Joy in Childhood Foundation teamed up with Comcast Business to bring joy to children battling cancer, as well as all patients in children’s hospitals, through the power of gaming. On September 24 The Foundation and Comcast partnered with Esports infrastructure company Nerd Street to host the 2022 Dunkin’ Connecting Joy Gaming Tournament. Gamers and pediatric patients participated in the tournament both virtually and at the eight Nerd Street Local Host locations nationwide.
Children’s hospitals across the country were invited to participate in the tournament and two of the Dunkin’ Connecting Joy partner hospitals, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, FL, and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital in New Haven, CT, were selected to participate in a pre-tournament bootcamp on August 30. At the Bootcamp, patients were able to learn tips and tricks of the game from Nerd Street and professional Esports gamers.
Comcast Business donated gaming “GO Karts” to each hospital to aid in the continued play after the bootcamp. The “GO Karts” are built specifically for hospitals and consist of portable video game kiosks that provide patients who may be unable to leave their hospital beds with an opportunity to play and compete.
One pediatric patient that participated in the tournament shared that “Every time I am in the hospital, I watch tv and movies and I get pretty bored. So, when I can come here and play games, it’s a lot of fun, especially with donuts, and sit down on really good chairs.”
The gift of the GO Karts is helping bring joy to pediatric patients who often face loneliness and the feeling of isolation from their peers, family, and friends due to long-term and overnight hospitalizations. “The Karts are the most invaluable piece of technology we have here,” shared Max Williams of Child Life Specialist at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. “They are hospital compliant and fully wipeable. One plug and I can wheel it into a patient’s room and say “here you go””.