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Atwater Father Raises Funds for Valley Children’s by Gaming

In the chaos of COVID-19, balancing increased strain on the job and home is not always easy. It has been strenuous for many essential workers whether they are in healthcare, grocery services, community services or even information technology services (ITS). Jason Germino, an ITS specialist in Stanislaus County Office of Education, knows this well. Balancing work and life can get crazy, especially during a pandemic, but Jason also knows being with his family and giving back to his community can make it all worthwhile.

When “distance learning” for schools started in mid-August, Jason’s job was highly impacted. Their office serves 25 different schools districts. To say that he has been busy the past couple of months would be an understatement.

But Jason hasn’t only been busy because of his professional life. He is married with three beautiful kiddos, ages 2-5. He also maintains a website where he reviews video games, and is a strong member of the Extra Life team for Valley Children’s Hospital. Extra Life is a gaming programing through CMN Hospitals where players come together game and fundraise for their local children’s hospital.

This year Jason has raised $1,795 for Valley Children’s placing him as one of the top five fundraiser’s in our market. When talking about Extra Life Jason says, “This can really change someone’s life and this is local.”  When we asked Jason more about why he fundraises for Valley Children’s he told us about his son, Austin.

Austin, now two years old, was born with Placiocephaly, a condition when a child has a misshapen, flat, or asymmetrical (uneven) head shape. Doctors immediately noticed that his head was flatter than normal. While they didn’t think the issue would impede brain development, they referred the Germino family to Valley Children’s just to be sure.

Valley Children’s doctors highly recommended treatment before Austin turned one year old. So they created a cranial helmet for him. Proper adjustments would be made every couple of weeks and he had to wear the helmet at all times except during baths for four months.

By four months, Austin’s head had changed shape by nine millimeters, which was a greater change than they expected. Jason and his wife are very grateful for Valley Children’s. He says, “Valley Children’s made sure we understood what was going on.” The Germino family knows for certain that Austin’s brain will develop now normally and he will enjoy life without complications.

We are so grateful for our Extra Lifers and their dedication to raise funds for the kids of the Central Valley. Check out Jason’s fundraising page here. He is only $205 away from his 2020 goal.