When Taylor Carol was 11, he was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer. But he was one of the lucky ones — after five years of treatment, his doctors declared him 100 percent cancer-free, and Carol is now a sophomore at Harvard.
During those years of treatment, Carol said in an interview with Re/code, he discovered that videogames helped him and other patients combat the “horrible isolation and sense of helplessness” of the oncology ward.
“I got into them, and I was sick, so Mom and Dad couldn’t say no,” he said.
Taylor’s father Jim Carol added that games gave families of an inpatient child something to do together while cooped up in the same place.
“We can say first-hand, not only were they incredible for a kid that’s isolated, the consoles are incredible for families,” he said.
Taylor and Jim went on to found Donate Games, a charity aimed at giving “games and gear” to pediatric cancer wards and families with a child fighting cancer. Over the years, that mission grew to include fundraising to help families afford treatment and funding college scholarships for survivors via a partnership with Cancer for College, a charity founded by two-time cancer survivor Craig Pollard.
Today, the two charities announced a charity campaign on Indiegogo, seeking $375,000. The funds raised will go to their usual destinations, but the hook to donate is Pollard’s former USC fraternity brother, Will Ferrell. Jim Carol said he had been told that Ferrell was “tired of doing celebrity golf tournaments,” so pitched the idea of a gaming tournament instead, to be broadcast on Twitch.
In addition to a range of other rewards, including a signed and personalized cowbell, backers are entered to win a trip to Twitch’s headquarters in San Francisco, to meet Ferrell and watch him play live on Oct. 26. Higher tiers of support get more entries into the sweepstakes. Carol said Donate Games hopes to run similar game-streaming events every month with different celebrity guests.
Since launching this morning, the Indiegogo campaign has raised more than $12,000, and is scheduled to end on Oct. 12. Here’s the video of Ferrell (a.k.a. Will Pharrell) explaining the plan:
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.