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Blizzard developer cancer fund hits $25K target

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A fund-raising attempt to help a Blizzard programmer battling cancer has hit its target of $25,000.

Friends of Ron Nakada, a senior software engineer at Blizzard with Stage 4 colon cancer, launched a crowdfunding plan before Christmas, to help him clear debts accrued during treatment. Nakada's illness forced him to step down from his job eight months ago and, although his medical insurance is helping pay for treatment, his earnings-loss insurance is not sufficient to pay bills.

"The campaign really took off when the gaming sites picked up the story," said John Alvarado, a friend of Nakada's who works for InXile. "We wanted to hit the $25,000 target by the New Year and then a big $1,000 donation came in and pushed us through."

Alvarado said that many of the donations came from readers of games websites that had run the story of the fundraiser as well as from employees at Blizzard and his own workmates at InXile. He added that Nakada, who he has known since they were schoolboy friends and D&D players, is hoping to return to work at the earliest opportunity. His Blizzard position is being held open.

"Ron is doing as well as can be expected for someone battling cancer," wrote Alvarado on the crowdfunding website. "It is a difficult journey, but his spirits are high and his faith is strong. He is ever so grateful for all the donations, and he is moved to tears by kind words that donors have posted on this site."

Donations are still being accepted.