Written by Illustrated News Staff Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00
Nick’s Marathon, a unique annual fundraising event, has partnered with the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island in New Hyde Park to honor the memory of leukemia victim Nicholas Capobianco and share his love of video-games with children and families in need. Every year, a group of childhood friends spend an entire weekend playing video-games as a special tribute to Nicholas, an avid gamer and beloved friend whose life was tragically cut short by cancer.
The 2013 Nick’s Marathon fundraiser will kickoff on Friday, Nov. 22nd at 8 p.m. through Sunday, Nov. 24. The gaming marathon event will all be streamed live at nicksmarathon.org, and all donations received will support RMH-LI. These items will be delivered to the House by Santa at a holiday party on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Because of Capobianco’s connection to RMH-LI, fundraising efforts from this year’s Nick’s Marathon will focus exclusively on raising money to provide the House with new video-game systems, specifically an Xbox One, a PlayStation 4, which will be released this month and a Nintendo Wii U. Additionally, Nick’s Marathon has agreed to provide the House with several new handheld systems, such as Nintendo 3DS’s and PlayStation Vitas, as well as donate games and accessories for each of the systems.
Capobianco was first diagnosed with leukemia when he was just 3 years old, and he spent the next four years of his life bravely facing chemotherapy, spinal taps, and spinal and cranial radiation. At age 7, Capobianco participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for a brand new facility that would serve as a “home away from home” for families with sick children: the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.
The Capobianco family would have been perfect candidates to take advantage of the House’s affordable amenities. During Capobianco’s treatment, his mother Meg would regularly have to fight rush hour traffic both to and from the Long
Island Jewish Medical Center, often with her son getting sick on the way.
When RMH-LI opened in 1986, Capobianco was fortunate enough to not need to stay there, as his cancer was finally in remission at that point. Though he never spent a night in the House, participating in the grand opening ceremony was an important moment for Capobianco, as it gave him an opportunity to put his hospital days behind him and open a new chapter in his life.
Twenty years after that ribbon-cutting ceremony, Capobianco and his family were devastated when they discovered that his cancer had returned. As he had done when he was a child, he once again fought bravely. But despite an inspiring level of strength and courage, Capobianco ultimately succumbed to his disease on June 12, 2008.
In the wake of his death, a group of Capobianco’s family and childhood friends formed Nick’s Marathon, an annual event that keeps Nick’s spirit and passion for video-games alive, all while raising money for charity. The group plays video-games for 48 straight hours, livestreams it all online at nicksmarathon.org, and asks those who watch to donate to the cause.