Chris Betancourt, 20.
Chris was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina but moved to California with his Sister, Mom, and Dad around the age of 10. Entering a new school in a completely new state, Chris was nervous. Fortunately, he was able to meet a few life-long friends like Dillon and Vincent, who shared a mutual interest for video games.
Chris' life would take a dramatic turn in 5th grade. On Memorial Day, 2009 he would be rushed to the hospital after passing out at the beach. After staying in the ER for 13 hours, Chris was transported to Kaiser Roseville before being officially diagnosed with Chronic Mylogenous Leukemia. After many experimental treatments and a few miserable months in the hospital, Chris was well on the road to recovery and eventually entered remission.
In Sophomore year of high school, Chris faced another life-altering experience. On the morning of May 4th, 2014 Chris woke up the news that his sister had taken her own life. After many years of emotional chaos caused by such a loss, Chris was able continue life with his head up. He continues to be the happiest person in any room he enters.
After successfully graduating from Del Campo Highschool, Chris began setting up his future. Before entering college, he took a year off to work as an electrician and save up money. At this point his father had moved to Florida, his mother to Puerto Rico. Eventually, Chris would be enrolled as a full time student at Sacramento City College where he prepared for his future as an IT professional.
On September 2nd, 2017 Chris sat down to hear the worst news possible. The cancer cells in his blood jumped from .001% to 11% and had officially returned. This time, the cancer was a new mutated string that is resilient to most of the experimental drugs he had used before. Though difficult to acknowledge, Chris has one year to live.
Dillon Hill, 19.
As a child, Dillon lived life as a normal boy growing up in California would. He was able to witness his father and mother's hard work manifest into many opportunities in his life, first living from a Station Wagon until eventually a beautiful two story house.
When Dillon's best friend was diagnosed at such a young age, he didn't quite understand what was happening but he knew he needed to help. He swore to become a doctor so that he could help Chris, but in the meantime Dillon brought as many video games as possible to help distract Chris from his hospital stay.
Completely breaking best-friend policy, Dillon began dating Chris' sister in high school and grew closer to everyone in the family. As with Chris, her suicide resonated deeply with his future perspective on life and future suicides he would face. Chris and Dillon once again turned to video games as an opportunity to cope with such complex emotion.
Dillon would go on to work as Director of Productions for a local non-profit organization that benefited low socio-economic children before founding his own non-profit, Gamers Gift, in memory of his experience with Chris. Together they both established a 501(c)3 organization that is now entirely ran by college and high-school students. Gamers Gift has raised over $50,000 to bring virtual reality to children in the hospital, assisted living facilities, and people living with disabilities so they can experience life beyond their hospital bed or wheelchair.