Wish kid Jaden joins EA video challenge

Jaden Palmer, 10, of Abbotsford takes part in event for Make-A-Wish BC.

Jaden Palmer

Jaden Palmer

Abbotsford’s Jaden Palmer will be part of the Make-A-Wish Dream Team that takes on B.C. Lions, Vancouver Whitecaps and other athletes in a video game sports showdown next month.

The 10th Annual EA Challenge for Make-A-Wish is an exclusive event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC & Yukon on March 4. The Electronic Arts campus in Burnaby will play host to local sports stars, celebrities, media, corporate sponsors and the video game maker’s own staff, who will bravely accept the challenge to take on the Dream Team in EA NHL and FIFA games on Xbox 360.

Jaden, 10, is psyched to be part of the Dream Team for this year’s challenge.  Jaden has cystic fibrosis and is eagerly counting down the days to his wish to visit Walt Disney World coming true in April, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC.  The foundation makes wishes come true for kids battling a life-threatening medical condition.

He was featured in a December story in the Abbotsford News, after his good friend Mackenzie Cameron organized a Christmas fundraiser aimed at giving the Palmer family the best Christmas possible.

Because of his illness, Jaden has to take as many as 92 pills a day and is not allowed to play sports like hockey or soccer because his lungs can’t take the effort required.

“This is why the EA Challenge is so important to kids like Jaden,” said Ross Hetherington, executive director of Make-A-Wish BC.

“Cystic fibrosis has taken away his ability to play sports, which is an important facet of life for many kids. This event puts our wish kids back in the games that they love, just in a different way.  We thank Electronic Arts for making this day possible for our kids.”

An avid gamer, Jaden plays anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours a day. When he’s in hospital, it’s even more. He’s predicting a Dream Team win, knowing that they’ll be up against some serious competition in the form of BC Lions Travis Lulay, Angus Reid and Geroy Simon; Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit; and others. To ensure their place in the history books, Jaden has been taking on his friends at every opportunity.

Wish kids, their families and participants will be given exclusive access to many of the latest video games not yet released to the public, as well as unlimited play time in EA’s video game arcade all in an exclusive Make-A-Wish open house to a studio which is normally closed to the public.

There will be Rock Band and other games galore, as well as plenty of food and prizes designed to make sure the day is one the kids will not soon forget.