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Boy stands in front of stack of xbox one systems

This is Ethan. He’s 19. About four and a half years ago, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He spent over 100 nights on the fifth floor of the NC Children’s Hospital before his leukemia went into remission.

He got to know the place (and the people) pretty well.

In fact, those 100+ nights inspired Ethan. He graduated from high school last year, and at 19 he is a certified nursing assistant (CNA) studying pre-nursing at Wake Technical Community College. Part of his inspiration for wanting to help people is the excellent care he received while a patient at the NC Children’s Hospital.

However, he is not waiting to get his nursing degree to start making a difference in the lives of young patients.

In fact, for the past year, Ethan has been collecting donations to make a brilliant idea come true for the kids of the fifth floor of the NC Children’s Hospital.

Yesterday morning, he brought a hefty stack of donation-funded Xbox Ones to the hospital, enough to put one in each room on the 5th floor — 17 systems in total, as well as games and controllers.

(Well, actually, his dad wheeled the stack in on a hand truck.)

Gifts like these bring a sense of normalcy to the lives of kids with cancer. While Ethan was a patient, there was an Xbox that was shared between rooms. “That was good,” Ethan says. But putting a system in each room helps create “an equal opportunity” for gaming.

That idea, which Ethan says he dreamed up with his mom, inspired a year of fundraising and figuring out how to make it happen. It happened!

On behalf of the health care providers and patients at NC Children’s Hospital, we want to thank Ethan and his family. ???


For more information on how to support UNC Children’s, please contact the Office of External Affairs at 919-843-3948. To make a gift, click here.

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