For Bills cornerback Levi Wallace, playing video games is more than just a fun hobby – it's a way to make a difference. As part of #GivingTuesday – a global initiative focused on charitable efforts – Wallace has teamed up with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to raise critical funding for the organization through a "Gamers vs. Cancer" event. Scheduled to take place on Twitch today, Tuesday, May 5, at 3 p.m. ET, the Bills defender will join former Alabama teammates and fellow Bills players Jordan Poyer and Jaquan Johnson for a five-hour long live stream of the popular game, "Fortnite."
Bringing together Wallace's love for gaming and his passion for helping those impacted by cancer, the virtual event is the perfect way for him to give back.
"I reached out to them…[to see] if I can help in any way and they're the ones that came up with the idea," said Wallace to Bills Multi-Media Journalist Maddy Glab. "…I was like, 'Yeah, I love playing video games' and they came up with 'Gamers vs. Cancer' and I told him that I'd love to be a part of it. I play 'Fortnite' anyway, so I thought it was a great idea. I definitely want to do that and be able to make it as big as I can to be able to donate to their organization."
Like so many others, the cause hits home for Wallace, making advocacy that much more important.
"I lost my aunt my freshman year of high school to breast cancer," he said. "I also lost my granddad before I was one to prostate cancer. It's always been a big thing for me to be involved with cancer, as well as ALS with my dad."
At a time where ensuring community members' health and safety is paramount, Wallace is using his platform to fight for immunocompromised individuals.
"Just because COVID-19 is going on, doesn't mean the cancer stops," said Wallace. "So, even when I gave out my number not too long ago, I talked to some people that did have cancer or just finished going to treatment or doing chemo. They have to be extra careful or super isolated from others. So, I wanted to tell them that I empathize with them and understand where they're coming from and that I lost someone as well. Cancer doesn't stop just because the world does.
"It just puts things into perspective. "Just to see how blessed we are before all this happened and during it we still have a little bit of leeway to go out or at least get groceries, while others are depending on people to do it for them because they can't be exposed to anything."
Fans are invited to follow along with Wallace and his crew on the dedicated Twitch page this afternoon from 3 - 8 p.m. Those interested in donating can do so during the streaming window. Resources collected will benefit the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.