Charity in memory of courageous 11-year-old donates gaming cart to Leeds hospitals on his birthday
An inspirational dad and daughter team who set up a charity to continue the legacy of a courageous 11-year-old who tragically died from a brain tumour have donated a gaming cart to Leeds hospitals to commemorate his birthday.
Brave Reece Miree lost his life in March 2018 after a nine-month battle with a DIPG brain tumour.
Reece spent some of the final months of his life as an outpatient across Leeds
He was an avid gamer and longed to be able to play on his Xbox and other consoles whilst in the waiting and treatment rooms, as well as the wards.
Following his sad death, Reece's close family including dad Jonny, 50, and sister, Jess, 23, set up a charity named TheRockinR after his console gamertag.
Their aim was to hopefully reduce the impact of hospitalisation on young patients and their families across England - with a target of installing 100 of their custom built 'Medical Gaming Carts' to hospitals in the next 25 years.
However, in just two years, Jonny and Jess have installed more than 150 gaming carts to wards and treatment rooms across the country already - smashing their original target.
The experiences of thousands of children being treated have now been improved, with their carts enabling the patients to remain distracted by gaming throughout their stay.
Many parents have thanked the charity since its conception.
On what would have been Reece's birthday on July 27, the charity visited Leeds Children's Hospital to donate a gaming cart to their CAT unit in his memory.
Speaking to the YEP, Reece's dad Jonny said a few weeks into diagnosis, his son once joked he would 'put his name on the map'.
Thanks to the charity, his dream has now been achieved.
Jonny said: "We never thought it would reach as many children as it has.
"This was to carry on my little lad's legacy.
"We want all kids to have access to the gaming carts."
Reece was ten years old when he started to suffer double vision in June 2017.
He was taken for tests at Pinderfields Hospital in his hometown of Wakefield, before being sent to the Leeds General Infirmary for further scans.
It was in Leeds that hospital staff told Reece's family that he had a DIPG brain tumour and gave them the devastating news that his diagnosis was terminal.
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a tumour in the brainstem that is highly aggressive
It controls many of the body's most vital functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Determined Reece bravely fought the tumour for nine months and was part of a drugs trial in Leeds.
He sadly lost his life in March 2018.
Jonny said: "I know every parent would say their children were special, but Reece was so special.
"He had so much to give and so little time to give it.
"He lit up every room he went into and his life was cut too short."
Reece’s family set up the charity just a couple of months later.
They have since installed more than 150 gaming carts - custom built, lockable console cases with screens, which can be wheeled around hospitals - across the country.
Jess told the YEP: "Reece absolutely loved gaming.
"When he was in the hospital, he didn't have access to his Xbox to play with his friends and the internet was really bad. We bought him a Nintendo Switch which helped the time to fly by a lot quicker, and we soon identified that there was an absolute need for that vital distraction.”
"We hope these devices give children a much needed distraction during their stays.
"Reece was such a positive light and he would have loved to see others benefit from gaming. He was a giver.”
"So many kids can now be with their friends again during hard times. Hospital is such an isolating experience.”
"Reece will never be forgotten. TheRockinR lives on."