iRacing community contributes almost US$10000 to member’s medical bills
All too regularly in the days of the internet do we hear stories of toxic game communities and the kinds of problems that can manifest in them, largely due to some the underlying attitudes of their members. However, in stark contrast to the usual horror of online gaming community stories, members of the popular sim-racing service iRacing.com have, this past weekend, responded to a cry for help from one of their longest serving community members in a staggering way.
Wendy Petty posted the story of her husband, respected iRacing community member and car painter, James, to the iRacing.com private member forum last Friday in an effort to to spread awareness of James’ problems, and to help cover the growing mountain of medical bills they continue to face since James began suffering complications from radiotherapy just over 10 years ago.
The post, which is replicated on their GoFundMe page, opens “Hi, my name is Wendy Petty and I have been married to James Petty for over 19 wonderful years. Please forgive me, this is so embarrassing and he will kill me when he finds out but we are left with no other options.”
It goes on to detail the pretty torrid number of tests and procedures that James has had to endure over the years – it’s pretty heart-breaking stuff. Regardless, considering just how crucial iRacing has been to keeping James active both socially and physically, Wendy decided she had to do something, and that’s when she made the post using her husband’s account.
Very little could’ve prepared them for the overwhelming response.
As of writing, The Petty’s have received close to US$10,000 in donations between both their GoFundMe page and separate PayPal donations.
In a response posted to GoFundMe, James wrote “I cannot open the site here without getting chocked(sic) up. You have all been the most amazing…………I mean….. ….I just…………Too hard right now. Too many emotions. Please give me a bit more time to gather myself and I will update more.”
He added to this sentiment later, sharing in a message with me “Just talking about it chokes me up a bit. I am only just logging here and there to log off just a few mins later because of how touched and teared up I get. The wife as well.”
I love hearing these kinds of stories, if only to re-ignite some of the hope in humanity that can be easily fizzled out in the daily barrage of cynicism that is the Internet.
James Swinbanks is a Games Critic currently writing for GameSpot, although you’ll still occasionally see him popping up on Player 2, because frankly, he loves the smell of the place.