(CBSNEWS) – A GAME FOR JOEL is a different sort of video game — it’s one family’s heartfelt tribute to a lost son, and a reminder of how far the fight against cancer has yet to go. Here’s Ben Tracy of CBS News:
It’s homework time in the Green household just outside of Denver, and Ryan and Amy Green’s kitchen table is definitely full. But when you look closely at the pictures on their refrigerator, you realize it’s not nearly as full as it should be.
“I know people sometimes will not want to bring him up because they don’t want to make us sad,” Amy said. “But a lot of ways, we’d rather be sad remembering him than have a day pass where we don’t think about him.”
Their son, Joel, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2010. He was just one year old. The tumors left him partially blind and unable to speak, but at first the treatment was working.
“Like they had told us, he had four months to live, and we were a year-and-a-half past that date,” Amy recalled. “And it just felt like our prayers were being answered, and we were seeing this miracle. And we thought, like, ‘Oh, we gotta tell people!’”
The Greens decided to tell their story in an unlikely way — through a video game.
Ryan is a video game developer. So he and his team created a different sort of game. They called it That Dragon, Cancer. The impressionistic game chronicles Joel’s battle with cancer and the emotional ups-and-downs of caring for him.