Charity in memory of courageous 11-year-old donates three more gaming carts to Leeds hospitals

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 three new gaming carts to Leeds hospitals.

By Daniel Sheridan
Monday, 27th June 2022, 4:30 pm

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.

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 three new gaming carts to Leeds hospitals.

Following his sad death, Reece's close family including dad Jonny and sister Jess 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.

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 three new gaming carts to Leeds hospitals.

In their latest donation drive, three new carts have been delivered to Leeds Children's Hospital.

Speaking to the YEP, Jess said: "So, last week we put three Medical Gaming Carts into Leeds Children’s Hospital.

"Two of these (a Nintendo Switch and an Xbox Series S) were fundraised for by the public and put into Critical Care.

"One of the nurses on Critical Care (Georgie) has a Partner called Jake.

Reece Miree

"Jake’s an electrician and ran six marathons in three days which is literally unheard of.

"He raised £1,800 all together which isn’t quite enough for a cart, but we made up the total because what he did was amazing.

"Critical Care are one of hospital units that have very few resources and didn’t yet have a Gaming Cart."

The Nintendo Switch cart was funded by a group of women who have been fundraising for the charity during the Covid pandemic.

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 three new gaming carts to Leeds hospitals.

"They raise money by hand-making these incredible scrubs from super bright and colourful materials", Jess explained.

"They’re really child-friendly and a breath of fresh air to see since hospital staff usually wear plain colours.

"With their funds, they raised enough for a Nintendo Switch Cart, as well as something that we call a ‘TheRockinR Revamp’.

"For £250, we take an older Medical Gaming Cart with an old console and completely renew all of the games to make it new and exciting.

"An example of this would be taking FIFA 18 and replacing it for FIFA 22.

"It keeps the carts sustainable and means that they can be loved and enjoyed for many years to come.

As the Charity keeps moving forward, TheRockinR Revamp is something that’s going to become a top priority for us."

Jess said she was "over the moon2 that Critical Care now have their own cart.

"The nature of their critical condition means that they are stationary/can’t move around, and being able to play games is vital for play and distraction", she added.

"Because there is such a huge variety of games, the Gaming Carts can even be used for rehabilitation and assessments."

TheRockinR recently applied for a grant from London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and were successful to receive £47,070.

"In return, we’re carrying out a Project called ‘TheRockinR – Gaming for Good’", Jess said.

"One of the aims of this project is to make our Medical Gaming Carts accessible to hospitals in less affluent areas.

Specifically, those that receive minimal funding and are situated along the LNER East Coast railway.

"The second aim is massive for us, as we are finally taking our Medical Gaming Carts into Scotland, six Children’s Hospitals to be exact!

"We donated a Cart each to Leeds Children’s Hospital and our local Pinderfields Hospital (Wakefield) for the Children’s Units. Reece (TheRockinR) was first seen at Pinderfields Hospital, before being sent to Leeds Children’s Hospital for palliative care/radiotherapy for his DIPG brain tumour.

"It is imperative to us that we give back to the hospitals that looked after Reece.

"It was in these hospitals when we realised that the latest gaming simply wasn’t there in the medical environment.

"It’s where it all started and the very reason we’re doing this today."

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.

Jess said: "When we founded in 2018 just a few months after losing Reece, never did we expect all of the amazing opportunities that we are given today.

"We’ve worked so hard, so consistently and always to the highest standard.

"With the heart-breaking loss of Reece and our mum and wife, Carol, it’s definitely not been easy.

"We’re so proud to say that we’re fast approaching on 300 Medical Gaming Carts into over 70 of the UK & Ireland’s Hospitals.

"There’s so much more to be done!"