If you’ve walked into Chris O’Brien Lifehouse recently, you may have noticed a green glow coming from one side of the foyer.
Michael Allan is a design manager for a local building facade company who, after watching a cheesy Adam Sandler film three years ago, decided to build a customized 80s-style arcade unit, fit with Pacman, Galaga and many other retro favourites.
Michael has now built and donated 20 arcade units – the last four of which were donated to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
Michael’s gift was motivated by a personal experience – earlier this year, his brother Stephen was diagnosed with cancer and is being treated at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
“Chris O’Brien Lifehouse looked after Stephen so well… I thought, how can I give back? All I can do is windows and 80’s technology.”
Michael built the first Green Machine and we placed it in our foyer just in time to surprise his brother when he came in for his second treatment session.
“He texted me saying, ‘somebody’s built one of those machines that you make.’ I sent him a picture of my kids playing on it and the penny dropped – he was very touched.”
The Green Machine proved to be so popular, that Michael built another three units that have now been stationed around the hospital. He has fostered a wide community of support for his arcades, in co-workers and other community members.
“It is amazing how many people want to help. You just don’t know until you start speaking to them. All I want is to see people enjoying themselves. Seeing kids and adults using the arcade units and having fun is the whole reason I make them.”
We would like to thank all of those involved in Michael’s wonderful arcade units which are bringing so much joy to our patients and their families. Glenn from Artee Signs, all those from the MICOS group – Andrew, Peter and Con – Stephen, Michelle and all others who have supported Michael.
Pictured above Associate Professor Sanjay Warrier (left) and Dr Ryan Downey (right) using the Green Machine in the foyer.