Ryan Green and his family has had to go through something no parent should ever have to deal with: the loss of a child. 


Sadly, Ryan’s son, Joel, lost his four year battle with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer when he was just five-years-old. Diagnosed when he was just one, his father and mother, Amy, created a new video game to help them deal with his loss, starting a Kickstarter campaign to finance their project.


The game, That Dragon, Cancer, tells of Joel’s battle with the disease and, as the father explains, is how the family chose “to honour him and his memory”.



Talking about how they had hoped for a miracle during the four years, the freelance programmer explained to Wired.co.uk, that “the real challenge is to find the beauty when the story doesn't turn out how you were hoping to write it.”


The  concept of the game came about in 2013, when the father-of-four couldn’t calm his son and thought: “This is like a game where the mechanics are subverted and don’t work.”


The game is set to be released on 12th January 2016 – Joel’s birthday – and Ryan is encouraging fans to throw a pancake party in honour of the big day as his son loved them.



Encouraging gamers to take to social media on that particular day and use the hashtag #ThatDragonCancer, Amy explained on the official blog that they chose the name because it “memorialises him better than any eulogy or tombstone ever could.”


“[When you post photos] we will see them and share them and know that a little boy without any accomplishments to speak of at his memorial service can still change the world.”