Four years ago, Brayden Post was sick, and in Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla.
Diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disease that attacks the immune system, he and his family sought ways to pass the time when he wasn’t in physical therapy or receiving treatment.
“We would do family nights, watch videos and do board games,” said his mother, Mindy Pellerin.
But one activity stood out among the others: video games. The 9-year-old from Hopewell Junction “fell in love,” his mom said, and has since been fascinated by games like “Fortnite,” and the “NBA 2K” and “Madden” series.
“It kept his mind in a happier place and distracted him a bit,” Pellerin said.
On Saturday, less contemporary games — namely “Tecmo Bowl,” “Super Mario Bros.” and “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” — will be played at Mahoney’s Irish Pub and Steakhouse in Poughkeepsie, at a fundraiser for Brayden. The occasion has been dubbed “Pigskin in Poughkeepsie.”
The event starts at 11:15 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. and there is a $25 entry fee. Those interested in participating and donating can preregister online at allevents.in/poughkeepsie# and searching for the event name.
David Post, Brayden’s father, has an affinity for those old Nintendo games. Brayden, on the other hand, had to get acclimated to the vintage video game classics.
“Initially Brayden was not interested because the graphics are different,” Pellerin said. “But he said, ‘I can get into this.’ He integrated (the classic games) into his routine, so he has an array of experience. There is more to video games than the land of Xbox.”
Patrick Blanchard, a friend of the family, said he meets with David Post and a group “every once in a while” to play “Tecmo Bowl” — a football game released in 1987 for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. He praised the idea of the fundraiser.
“It’s a unique way to raise money,” Blanchard said.
Guillane-Barre Syndrome is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Essentially, the disease damages the nerves’ protective covering, preventing nerves from transmitting signals to the brain. As a result, weakness and tingling occur the body’s extremities.
It isn’t known what causes the disease and there is not yet a cure, according to the Mayo Clinic. The onset is usually in young adulthood.
Brayden was diagnosed in May of 2015 at the age of 5, and spent time in Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital as well as Blythedale for treatment to stop the disease’s progression.
Before he was diagnosed, Brayden was very active, playing football and basketball. While the disease sidelined him from the gridiron and court, and video games remain among his passions, Brayden is aspiring to once again become active in sports.
“He wants to be the next Michael Jordan and JJ Watt,” Pellerin said. “He’s a warrior. He says, ‘I’m going to beat GBS’ butt.’ He’s kept that mindset.”
A.J. Martelli: email@example.com, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJ_Martelli
Pigskin in Poughkeepsie
When: 11:15 a.m to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 20
Where: Mahoney’s Irish Pub and Steakhouse, Poughkeepsie
More information: https://allevents.in/poughkeepsie#
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