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Blizzard Entertainment Employee Shares His Personal Connection to the Cause

By BCRF | May 18, 2018

After losing his mother to breast cancer at a young age, Michael Laursen is inspired by his company’s partnership with BCRF.

Michael Laursen was only eight years old when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. While the moment took place decades ago, the memories remain vivid in his mind.

“I remember our visits to City of Hope, where my brothers and I would sometimes stay all day playing in the lobby and outside,” he said. “My mother would talk about the surgeries she was having, but I remember how sick she would be when she finally came home.”

After treatment, his mother entered remission and the family felt hope.

“We were told that she beat the disease and was cured. We had pizza that night and wore paper party hats.”

However, a few years later her cancer returned. Michael was in high school at the time.

“I would work at my dad’s bike shop so he could stay with mom at the hospital,” he said. “I remember how sick and weak she got after every treatment, and how normal it was to have a sick mom.”

Michael’s mother lived with metastatic breast cancer for years before succumbing to the disease when she was only 59 years old. 

“I remember the phone call that obliterated my childhood. I was the one who had to tell my little brother that mom was not coming home,” he said.

Today, Michael works as an associate test analyst at Blizzard Entertainment, BCRF’s newest corporate partner. To raise funds for BCRF, Blizzard has released a special charity skin for its bestselling game Overwatch. The new skin is designed for Overwatch’s character Mercy, a brilliant scientist and heroic “guardian angel” who has dedicated her life to helping others.

“It’s inspiring and fills me with joy knowing that I work for a company that is dedicated to supporting breast cancer research,” he says.

For Michael, the program holds special meaning, and he sees it as an opportunity for the gaming community to give families impacted by breast cancer hope.

“Losing a mother – especially when you are a child – is a terrible experience. It is my hope that one day there will be a cure to cancer so no families will have to go through what I did growing up,” he says.

All sales of the limited-edition Pink Mercy skin will benefit BCRF, now through May 21. Blizzard will donate a minimum of $250,000 towards BCRF’s mission to eradicate breast cancer and will help families across the globe.