Before Joey Halldorsson lost his son in a battle against muscular dystrophy, he saw how video games allowed his son to connect with friends while sitting in a hospital bed. Now he wants to give that to other children.
"He was a very kind boy," says Halldorsson of his son, Korbin. "He thought of others more than himself some days and I learned a lot from him that way. He loved animals, other people and he was just a good kid."
Korbin passed away in October 2021 at the age of 17.
"Right at birth he was diagnosed with Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy. We knew right away we'd have a short span with him, that his days were numbered and we made the best of it."
Throughout Korbin's childhood Halldorsson shares that the family did quite a bit of travelling.
"We went to Florida multiple times, to Disneyworld. We had a place at the lake for him because he loved swimming. At around age nine or 10 he started to lose mobility. Then he stopped wanting to swim and that broke our hearts."
Time in the Hospital
Halldorsson shares that each time Korbin had to be in the hospital he was usually there for a few weeks at a time.
"The first he went it was for back surgery. He got two bars put down his spine to keep his body straight. Another time we were [in the hospital] for an infection. The last time we were in the ICU."
During these prolonged times in the hospital, Korbin had video games to play while talking online with friends.
"When he was in the hospital I would always bring his PlayStation and go buy a T.V. Gaming was really all he had to be a part of society. He could talk to his friends, it was very important to him. He would ask, 'Dad, why don't these other kids have this?' I said that one day when he was a little healthier, we would look into doing something like that for the kids."
It's been a year and a half since Halldorsson's son passed away and he shares that it's time to give back.
Halldorsson runs an electric business. One day one of the truck drivers that brings materials to other businesses man asked if he could take the scrap metal from the business. When asked why the man replied he took the money that he got from the scraps and gave it back to a charity of his choosing. This inspired Holldersson.
"I'm a strong believer that God works through humans. I explained what me and my boy were going to do, that we were going to do something to help the hospitals be able to offer some sort of gaming system for these kids. That's how it started."
It was initially just a conversation between Halldorsson and this truck driver, until he asked Halldorsson, "Why don't you do it?"
"I believe we have these great intentions, thinking we should do this for this person. Life gets busy. My focus in the evenings was looking after my son. He's not here today and I have the ability to hopefully make that difference now. It's time to do it. It's something that was important to him and now it's really important to me."
For people that want to donate to Korbin's memory and help kids in hospitals have gaming systems to help pass the time, they can donate on the GoFundMe page. Depending on how many donations they receive they'll be able to help out the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg, as well as other Manitoban communities.
"There's also Steinbach, Winkler, Selkirk, and Brandon. I would also like to see Northern Nursing Stations receive them as kids sometimes have to wait to be transported to larger hospitals. That can be a very scary feeling for them, and this could help take the focus off the wait."