‘Destiny’ Stream to Raise Funds in Honor of CF Researcher-Patient

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by Brad Dell |

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Cystic fibrosis researcher Joshua Stokell, Ph.D., left behind the most intensive sampling of a single CF patient — studies of his own lungs’ bacteria — when he passed away in June 2015. His gaming team, Dads of Destiny (DoD), is determined to continue Stokell’s legacy of research by donating to CF charities. DoD will host a 72-hour #BreatheEasy video stream of Destiny 2 between Oct. 13 and 15 to raise funds.

Players take on the roles of a warrior force called Guardians in Destiny 2 and fight to protect the solar system from alien threats. DoD is a gaming group founded in 2014 with the mission to connect parents in the online community of Destiny. Founder Jason Edwards said the group is over 50,000 members strong.

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Stokell (gamer tag “TheSquashPhD”) was one of those many members. He earned a doctorate microbiology degree in 2013 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, then studied his own lungs’ bacteria and those of adolescent patients there as a post-doctoral fellow. Stokell published a study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology that found sudden growth of pathogen Burkholderia multivorans often preceded CF pulmonary exacerbations. The 36-year-old was awaiting a lung transplant when he passed.

“I’m very proud to be a part of such a genuinely lovely crowd who rallies together to look after one another when life throws a curveball,” Edwards said. “As long as there is the DoD, there will always be Guardians coming together to fight beside you. To pick up your spirits when you’re down, to offer a reassuring hand when it’s needed most.”

The #BreatheEasy Charity Stream

Stokell’s team members want to offer a hand of help to the other community he belonged to: CF patients. The DoD raised more than $12,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in a 2015 48-hour stream. The team created a memorial video for Stokell (with 850,000 views to date) during that event:

“Dads of Destiny is a huge community built on the premise of family first,” said a charity organizer, Shawn Pugmire. “DoD is a family and we don’t forget our family. That is why we are doing this. The important thing to take from this is that Josh’s memory is not lost in time.”

The Boomer Esiason Foundation (BEF), Loot Crate, and gaming organizations within the Destiny collective are backing the 2017 #BreatheEasy charity stream. Tune in to twitch.tv/dadsofdestiny during the stream to donate via a link provided on the webpage. BEF is providing giveaways for the event.

Twitch is a free streaming service that allows viewers to watch others play games from remote locations. The stream begins at 8 a.m. (PST) on Oct. 13 and continues through 8 a.m. on Oct. 15.

“The fight against cystic fibrosis is very real, but don’t lose hope,” Edwards said. “We’re with you every step of the way.”

MORE: Seven reasons why pulmonary rehabilitation is important

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