Springdale gamer named Janeway’s Extra Life ambassador after streams raise over $30K

Nathan Roberts was named the Janeway Children’s Hospital’s first ever Extra Life Ambassador on Friday. Extra Life raises money for local children’s hospitals across the globe through the power of play. (Submitted by Nathan Roberts)

A video game streamer from Springdale has been named the Janeway Children’s Hospital’s first ever Extra Life Ambassador, helping to raise over $30,000 through his online broadcasts.

Nathan Roberts, better known online as Noofy Nate, has been raising money through Extra Life since 2012. Extra Life is a program of the Children’s Miracle Network that raises money for local children’s hospitals through playing games.

He said fundraising can go beyond video games, with some streamers using card games and board games to raise money.

We sit down, usually for one time during the year, [we] sit down for 25 hours straight and play video games to try and raise money for their local children’s hospitals,” Roberts said Saturday.

“A hundred per cent of the money we raise goes straight back to helping the kids.”

Following a high school football injury that left him disabled, Roberts said he has been drawn to helping raise money for charities through video games — as he is unable to take part in events such as walks and runs.

He said the Janeway holds a special place in his heart, driven by his family’s connection to the hospital.

“My sister was born two years before me. She was born with pneumonia and she only lived 14 hours,” he said. “Janeway was actually on their way to come pick her up in Grand Falls’ hospital … and they were 20 minutes late picking her up.”

“When I saw that this was happening, [that] I could play video games to raise money and that it was for the Janeway, it was a no-brainer for me.”

Roberts has dyed his beard on multiple occasions as part of donation incentives on his streams. (Submitted by Nathan Roberts)

Since beginning his work with Extra Life, Roberts has raised $33,950 for the Janeway, as of Saturday. He said donations on his stream are often driven through incentives, such as eating a hot pepper on camera once a donation goal is reached.

“I’ve shaved my eyebrows, I’ve dyed my beard, I usually end up shaving my beard and my head at some point,” he said. “Just the other day I waxed both legs.”

“The way that we look at it is a little bit of temporary pain is nothing compared to what the kids have to go through.” 

He said the idea of serving as an ambassador came from the Janeway, who wanted to bring him on board.

“When I started streaming, I’ve got people from all over the world that comes into my streams,” he said.

2017 Janeway Champion Child Stephen Sullivan, left, joined Roberts as part of an Extra Life charity event. (Submitted by Nathan Roberts)

“Having sick and injured kids is something that doesn’t just affect us here in Newfoundland, it affects everybody worldwide. To see people from Australia, from Belgium, from England and Germany, every state and province across North America to get behind this and support me is absolutely incredible … it absolutely blows my mind.”

Serving as a local ambassador for Extra Life, Roberts hopes his work will inspire more people in the community to get involved in the movement — which he says has not gained as much traction in the province as in other regions.

“Everybody has been there at the Janeway. Everybody has a kid that’s been there, or at least they know somebody that has been there,” he said.

“I’m a guy that’s full of energy that very’s passionate. If I can be the face that draws people in to help this get this done and make this thing as big as we can … I’m all about it.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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