My name is Jason Golden and I’m the founder of the Las Vegas based charity, Critical Care Comics. Over the past few months, I’ve been asked several times, “Why did you start Critical Care Comics?” or “What inspired you to visit kids in hospitals and bring them comic books?” Well, here’s the Critical Care Comics Origin Story direct from the source:
Near the end of my Sophomore year in high school, I was diagnosed with acute non-lymphoid leukemia. It was a rather hard time for me. I was in and out of the hospital for over a year and completely missed my junior year of high school battling cancer. Along with the support of my friends and family, and the excellent care I received, I pulled through, and now live a normal, happy life.
There were times though, in the hospital, when I was alone, depressed, and just down right feeling crappy. Two things helped me during those times: video games and comic books. Every Wednesday my parents would swing by my comic book shop and pick up my latest books. Looking back now, those Wednesdays were the best days.
I can remember the comic I was reading the day I was diagnosed: X-men #7. The comic I brought with me the first day in the hospital: Spawn #1. As Spider-Man fought off the Sinister-Six, I was fighting off nausea from Chemo. I even read the Death of Superman from the hospital bed. Those moments for me were an escape… if only for 28 pages.
The beeping from the IV machines would fade out, the pain from the chemo would subside, and for just a moment, I would stand side by side with Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Batman, or whatever other title I was reading. We would kick ass together.
Now at the age of 36, I want to give back, no — I NEED to give back! What I would like is to spread joy and maybe crack a smile or two on the faces of the kids that are going through so much, trying to overcome uncertainty, and maybe give them a bit of hope. I’m starting Critical Care Comics, a Non-Profit Charity that will collect donations of back issues for distribution to Children’s Hospitals, Medical Facilities, and Cancer Treatment Centers. Any and all support will be appreciated. I just feel in a lot of ways comics helped save my life and I want to give back by paying that experience forward.