Pokemon Go helps boy through cancer treatment - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Pokemon Go helps boy through cancer treatment

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(Image Courtesy: MGN Online / Pokemon Go) (Image Courtesy: MGN Online / Pokemon Go)

There's more than just healing going on at Baystate Medical Center.

For Naqi Dar, 12, it was the place where he would catch Pokemon.

Naqi was diagnosed with Leukemia in February. Thursday night, he returned home after a fourth stay in the hospital. He said hospital stays used to be pretty boring.

“I would just sit in my room," he said, adding he would mostly watch television. “I didn’t want to deal with it because some people were having a life threatening illness and I didn’t wanna feel sad about that so just staying in the room helped me just shut all that out.”

But then Naqi and his mom found a creative way to pass the time - Pokemon Go.

“The Pokemon, for us, is something exciting," said Denyse Dar, Naqi's mom. "It keeps him on a scavenger hunt – it keeps him out of the bed and moving around.”

Naqi would roam the hallways with his mom, looking for the few Pokestops in the building.

“When I was playing the game, I wasn’t focused on looking at people and how they were doing," he said. "I was more focused on catching Pokemon and keeping active.”

He said the game helped him pass the time.

“It definitely helped in keeping my mind off the chemical and all that and more about having fun and staying active," Naqi said.

Now, Naqi is excited to be out of the hospital - out in the world where there are more Pokestops.

But the Dars live in Warwick, a town with less than 800 people. There are no Pokestops nearby.

“I know Turners Falls has a lot and Greenfield," Naqi said, adding that he plans to go to those places to collect Pokemon.

And his mom has no problem taking him there to do that.

"When he's in the car, he'll say, 'oh, there's a gym here, there's a stop there,'" said Denyse. "I'll pull in - no problem."

Denyse is a big fan of the game - she said it helped her son in a time of need.

“This game is engaging them to be active and curious about the world around them," said Denyse. "We found the nurse statue at the hospital, we found the water fountain in the garden.”

She said these are places they would not have visited otherwise.

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