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BBCH Extra Life HERO: Meet John!

It’s no secret that I love our Extra Life program at BBCH, but it’s mostly because of the people. Our Extra Lifers are awesome! I’d like to introduce another one of our amazing gaming community members making a big difference for the patients, families, and care teams at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH)! – Meaghan

Meet John!
John’s pronouns are he/him

John says “My gamer tag changes all the time depending on what game it is, but for Pokémon Unite, the game I’ll be playing for this year’s Extra Life United tournament, it’s Kingdra. I wasn’t early enough to claim Ampharos, my favorite Pokémon, so I just randomly settled for Kingdra! I’d love for either of them to be added to the game in the future.”

Fun fact about John and Extra Life: he’s participated in Extra Life from 5 different countries… so far!

You can find out more, and check out some pretty epic videos by visiting John’s Extra Life page.

What are your favorite games to play?
I primarily play Nintendo games; though I’m willing to try just about anything, excluding Magic the Gathering because I value owning money (no, Robert, I won’t start playing!!). Of course, I love the big franchises such as the 3D Marios and Zelda games, but I have to give a shout out to the Pikmin series for being disastrously underrated. I will forever be the skeleton meme waiting for the announcement of Pikmin 4. If you own a Switch, I highly recommend picking up Pikmin 3 Deluxe!

How long have you been gaming, and how did you find Extra Life?
My first gaming system was the Gameboy color I got with a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, so I’ll let you do the math on that one.

My RA at the University of New England was part of the gaming club and told me about Extra Life one fateful day. I had always wondered if it was possible to 100% beat Ocarina of Time in one sitting since I was so familiar with that game and realized that Extra Life was my chance to finally find out! I’m not a speed runner by any means, but I managed to do everything that game had to offer in just 16 hours flat!

2022… is… John’s… TENTH YEAR!!! of Extra Life!!!
This will be my 10th year of Extra Life and I can’t believe it’s already been a DECADE!

My goal each year is to raise at least $1000, and every year the donations pour in and the record is broken more and more. Last year was the best year on record with $2750 raised! In total, I’ve raised more than $10,000 for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital thanks to the continued support of my friends, family, and sometimes even complete strangers! I hope to win big in the Pokémon Unite tournament as it seems like the only feasible way to top last year’s fundraising record!      

John’s creative approach to Extra Life
I like to make short films as a hobby and during my second year of Extra Life, I had the idea to promote what I was doing in video format. It was really fun to make, and something I’ve done every year since. My friends have started calling it “the Jarvis cinematic universe” as there are a lot of connections and Easter eggs between each video. Last year I made a Splatoon-themed video and played Splatoon 2 for 24 hours. It was a lot of fun making a mess with some fake paint in water guns! You can check it out here.

Because BBCH is close to Biddeford
A lot of people think I have strong personal ties to The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital since I’ve been so dedicated in supporting them year after year, but that’s actually not the case at all. In fact, I’ve never once been there in person (though I’d love to visit someday!) The truth is, I chose it simply because it was geographically the closest hospital to UNE where I participated in Extra Life for the first time. After that, I just kind of stuck with it! (Editor’s note: Woot! We’re glad you did, John!) I travel a lot and have participated in Extra Life from multiple states in the US, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, and most recently, Japan where I’ll be participating in the 2022 ELU tournament from. While it started as a way to turn my gaming hobby into something actually productive for society, and I initially didn’t put much thought into it, over time I saw the impact Extra Life was making on hospitals like BBCH. Between that and seeing the continued support I was getting from everyone over the years, it’s kept me going all this time!

What would you say to someone thinking about signing up for Extra Life?
Just do it!!!!! (don’t let your dreams be dreams) JUST DO IT!!!!!

Editor’s note: if you’d like to take John’s advice and register for Extra Life 2022, you can JUST DO IT here.

Extra Life is super fun, easy to sign up for, and anyone can join! Whether you sign up for a year or 10, whether you play board games, video games, hopscotch or whatever, whether you play the full 24 hours or accidentally fall asleep at hour 18, whether you stream or don’t, whether you sign up as a free participant or platinum participant, whether you participate in Extra Life United or not, whether you raise $1 or $1,000,000, the most important thing is that you help out your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital so they can continue providing care for children who desperately need it!

And last but not least, John says THANK YOU!
Finally, I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years! To those like my wife who have helped with the production of the films and fed me on game day, to those who have watched and shared my promotional videos, to those who have tuned into the live streams or supported me in person, and of course, a big shout out to everyone who continues to donate year after year! Thank you for keeping me going for 10 YEARS!!

You can find out more about Extra Life at, or make a donation to John’s page in support of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital HERE.