For some people, playing video games helps them pass the time. For 11-year-old Kala, these games are more than entertainment, they are an escape from his condition.
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on June 27, 2014, Kala and his family have since learned to take it one day at a time. He now relies on crutches and wheelchairs for mobility and visits the hospital frequently to treat his condition, but what helps him get through it all is escaping through the world of gaming.
"For Kala, tuning into his favorite YouTube gaming channel is a way of escaping his diagnosis, even if just for a while," said Kainani, Kala’s mom. "During his in-patient chemo treatments, Kala would sit in his hospital bed and watch YouTube. Weʻd hear him laughing and I think the laughter made him feel normal; it would lighten his mood and make him happy. And for us, to hear him laugh was music to our hearts," she continued.
So it was no surprise when Kala wished to go to PAX Prime, a gamer's paradise, and before long, he and his family were on a plane to Seattle, Washington to attend the week-long convention that brings gamers together from all parts of the world.
After doing some sightseeing around Seattle, Kala was ecstatic to step into the enormous convention hall filled with anything and everything an avid gamer could ever dream of. He tried out the latest games, bonded with other gamers and competed with his mom, dad and brother in the console free-play area. To top off the amazing wish experience, he even met his favorite YouTube gaming commentator with whom he quickly formed a bond.
Being surrounded by others who shared his passion for gaming gave Kala a new confidence. "[His wish] made him feel special and important," Kainani explained. "It has given him hope that anything is possible."