This is my handsome son, David. He is known in the gaming community as the illustrious “ALLIED”.
I can’t pretend to understand the gaming community or that world in all its entirety. All I can tell you is that he was ahead of his time. He started delving into the gaming world as early as his high school years. I can remember waking up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and I heard David on his computer (back then I called it “playing video games”) but the correct terminology is “gaming”. I would tell him to shut it off and he would grumble and the next day go to school looking like he slept 2 hours. It got to the point where I had to shut off the router (located in my bedroom) to get him to go to bed at a reasonable hour. He would get angry but I held my ground. I told him school comes first and he couldn’t stay up all night “playing video games” on a school night.
Eventually he graduated high school and moved in with his grandparents because they undermined me and pretty much let him do whatever he wanted and he began gaming full time. I worried about him, his future and his mental health. I asked the typical questions: How are you going to make a living from this? What about health benefits? What about retirement? I didn’t get much of a response. He was still a teen, fresh out of high school so I don’t think he understood the concept of long term & short term goals.
At some point he progressed in the gaming world and got so good he became part of a team. This team won their first championship, and it just snowballed from there. He travelled around the United States, all paid by Sponsors. I must admit he did pretty well for himself but I still worried about his future regardless. I always let him know how happy I was for him and anytime I spoke to him I asked how he was feeling or if he needed money, lol. Gaming is an unconventional way to make a living (in my humble opinion). Call me old fashion. 🤷🏽♀️
David met a girl during his travels (a groupie) and eventually settled down and moved in with her. He was making steady money gaming & streaming live. He lived in GA and I lived in NY. We kept in touch but not as much as I would’ve liked. He led a very busy life gaming & traveling and I was still working and caring for my other two children, one who is severely autistic.
One day David called me and told me he had something to tell me and asked if I was sitting down. I thought he was gonna tell me his girlfriend was pregnant. I asked him what was going on. I will never forget how flatly he told me, “I have Cancer”. I remained calm and asked some questions then told him to have the Dr call me directly and that I would come out to GA for all the testing. I told him not to worry and that we would figure this out. He was cool as a cucumber during our conversation. As soon as we hung up I dropped to my knees and sobbed like a baby. I found out later on by his girlfriend that as soon as he hung up with me he cried as well.
I will never forget that phone call for the rest of my life. He was only 24 yrs old when he got diagnosed with Stage IV Esophagus Cancer.