June 9, 2022
A True Pro-Gamer Move: Raising Funds for Cancer Research
Justin Carmona says he’s always been passionate about video games, and like many budding gamers he wanted to be the best in the world. Now, he says, “I want to be the best fundraiser in the world by using video games.”
Carmona is realizing his philanthropic goal through the TwitchTV stream Game4theCure. For every game Carmona’s team wins, members donate to the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital. The stream has raised more than $1,500 to date.
“We want to fight like the people who are fighting against cancer: brave, strong-willed, and positive!” Carmona says.
“In the beginning, we thought it was just going to be a fun thing with friends, but after getting donations from around the world, my team (Adam Wood, Matt Cusano, Enzo Marino, and Ryan Jefferis) decided to turn it into a full-blown fundraiser.”
Johnny Mazzarella recently joined the team, which has a collective dream to raise $5,000 for cancer research by the summer.
Carmona said he chose the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer as the beneficiary of Game4theCure because of the exceptional care Hartford Hospital provides. Cancer awareness is especially important to him because he, Wood, and Cusano lost a classmate in middle school to cancer.
“Cancer awareness has always been a huge passion of ours,” Carmona says. “I personally have volunteered multiple times with Hartford Hospital. My family also resided in Hartford for a long time, so I thought it was a great way to give back to the community.
The team typically plays first-person shooters such as Overwatch and Apex Legends and has achieved the ranking of master in their respective games. The team recently also branched out into the highly anticipated 2022 Elden Ring.
“We like to hang out and spread positivity in the stream. We pick each other up since the world has been so negative lately. It’s a safe fun place for everyone to hang out and talk about their passions and win games while donating to a good cause.”