Matthew's Legacy

Matthew's Legacy: Wii’s for Kids Touched by Cancer
Matthew Tsern’s family chose to honor their son’s passion for interactive video gaming by developing a program that provides a secure Wii system to cancer kids in hospital rooms.
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Los Altos, Calif., Feb. 27, 2009 – About 130 people showed up at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church to unpack, assemble, and organize 70 Wii stations–each going into a hospital rooms at  the children’s cancer wing at the UCSF hospital in San Francisco and Kaiser’s children wing in Santa Clara.

The program named WiiSTRONG was inspired by a very special boy, Matthew Tsern, who was diagnosed with Leukemia. After a few tough years battling with cancer, he passed away at age 9. Matthew had a Wii station in his hospital room.  His parents felt all kids with cancer should have one too – as a way to forget about their pain.

Matthew’s parents, Gigi and Ely Tsern, co-founded kidsSTRONG shortly after his death to help families of kids with cancer.  They help fund, design and build the WiiSTRONG systems alongside many dedicated volunteers.

The kidsSTRONG kits, using Nintendo Wii systems and thousands of games donated by Electronic Arts, Lucas Arts and Nintendo, have been adapted for use by children in the hospital. They become part of each child's therapy, and quality of life surveys track their progress. UCSF is the first children's hospital in the U.S. to pilot the program.

The event was a great success. Everyone had fun participating while knowing they are making a big difference in the world of cancer care for our children.

About kidsSTRONG

Cancer kills more children every year than any other disease. kidsSTRONG is dedicated to transforming the quality of care and treatment of all children and families touched by cancer.  Its goal is to promote family well-being by allowing children with cancer to be children first and patients second.

To donate or play a role in kidsSTRONG and make a difference in the lives of families touched by childhood cancer, please visit or on Facebook:

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