Why I Extra Life

October 2, 2018
Topics: Donors, Riley Kid Story

sarah marlee image
Riley kid Marlee Davenport and Sarah at Extra Life United

I first joined Extra Life after learning I could play video games to raise funds for children’s hospitals. I choose Riley Hospital for Children as the recipient of my funds because this was my opportunity to give back after being a patient there. 

I had a concussion my junior year of high school that required me to receive a CT Angiogram. My scans revealed I had two infundibula —abnormalities of the walls of the blood vessels in my brain. This was similar to a condition my mother had causing her to suddenly pass away at the age of 35. The staff at Riley did an amazing job making me feel comfortable. When I turned 18 and had to go to another hospital, I truly missed my Riley team. 

I have a family member that has also been a cardiology patient at Riley Hospital since birth. It has been a long road but they are thriving. Riley is playing a major role in that. 

My “why” for Extra Life is simple: My participation has always been for the kids. No one expects to be in a position where their child is sick. The funds Extra Life raises support research and making the lives of all Riley kids better.   

This past March I was able to attend the Extra Life United conference and gaming tournament in Orlando, Florida. I met so many gamers from all over the country who strive to help the kids in their communities. Members of the Extra Life Indianapolis Guild truly became like family to me during this trip as well. 

Meeting the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals Champions at Extra Life United was a turning point for me too. Especially Marlee Davenport, the champion from Riley Hospital. Learning about her story firsthand truly made an impact on me. Extra Life United lit a fire inside of me and I have been pushing myself as a player ever since. 

I am a reason “why” I Extra Life. Marlee is a reason “why” I Extra Life. My friends in the Indianapolis Guild are a reason “why” I Extra Life.  There are millions of reasons “why” I do this. And there are millions more why YOU should too.

Extra Life National Gaming Day is Sunday, November 4. Click here to learn more and sign up to fundraise for Riley Hospital. 

Also visit the Extra Life Indianapolis Guild Facebook Group for upcoming community events. 


Sarah Shirley

Sarah Shirley is a first generation college student at Indiana University majoring in Secondary English Education. She currently serves her community as a police officer and through Extra Life. At 23 years young, there's no stopping her now.

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