A FUNDRAISING event with a twist for a little-known charity is on the horizon for a Hatch Warren man.
Tom Perrett will be playing games on a livestream for more than 24 hours on February 28 to raise funds and awareness for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) UK.
It was only when his wife Jodie explained what the symptoms were that he became aware of the relatively unheard of neurological condition.
Jodie was diagnosed with the condition when she was 17, and experiences constant headaches and pains.
It relates to the fluid surrounding the brain, and those with the condition tend to have an excess of this fluid, which can lead to head pains and blurred vision as the liquid has nowhere to go, leading to pressure inside the skull.
Tom said: “Jodie started having treatment for it where they drained fluid out of the spine to relieve the pressure in the head, and then not have to go back for a few months.
“However in September 2013, the pressure went right back up after a week, and she ended up having several surgeries over the years, and so I wanted to help her as much as I can.”
It was then that Tom started researching and found out about the work done by IIH UK and started to try to help them out by fundraising.
The charity is run by volunteers, and provides information in relation to IIH and raises awareness of the condition.
Tom added: “In 2016, I decided that I wanted to do something to help them out.
“I’m no good at baking, so a bake sale was out, I’m not quite fit enough to run a marathon, so I thought I would do something that I am good at, and hit upon the gaming marathon.”
So far, Tom’s efforts over the past three years of running the 24-hour-long sessions annually has raised more than £2,000 for the charity and given it more exposure.
The gaming marathons have been streamed on online livestreaming service Twitch, which has a chat function and the ability for viewers to watch Tom play.
The 34-year-old said: “I thought that the idea of playing for people online would get a few more eyes on the charity, and be entertaining.
“The trouble is staying awake, but with a nine-month-old daughter, I’ve arguably had some training for that this year.
“Some people have asked me why I am doing a gaming session and not something else, but I’d say that they are missing the point.
“I’m raising awareness of this small charity, and having fun at the same time.
“This is a more active way of helping out, I know I’m not out digging wells or building houses, but this is helping out and I feel it is rewarding.
“The target is to raise £500 over the course of the session, but even just to raise their profile a bit is good.
“It’s also great to see some people who come back and chatting with them again.”
Tom plans to play several different games over the course of the day, and people can vote on his Facebook page as to what game to play.
His marathon event will be taking place from 8am from Thursday, 28 February at twitch.tv/tombeardo
There is also a fundraising page for the effort at justgiving.com/tomjumboo19