Cancer Is Tough, Especially For Kids, But These Videos Offer Comfort And A Few Explanations

"It takes teamwork to fight this devastating disease."

Talking about cancer is rough, no matter how old you are. But one organization is on a mission to make that conversation easier for one audience in particular: children.

A few months ago, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation released a series of animation videos called the Imaginary Friend Society that explain what cancer is, and how to deal with the side effects and emotions that come with it. While the nonprofit is dedicated to helping children and teens who have been diagnosed with brain tumors, it teamed up with ad agency Rubin Postaer and Associates, known as RPA. The two brought these animation ideas to life by working with 22 animation studios, according to Campaign Live.


Despite the fact that the number of children who die because of pediatric cancer has decreased by almost 70 percent over the last 40 years, according to the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health, it's still in the running as the leading causing death for children

"It takes teamwork to fight this devastating disease, and many of our nonprofit distribution partners were inspired by children like those who will benefit from this film series," Robin Boettcher, president and CEO of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, said in a release.

One of the first videos in the Imaginary Friend Society's film series is called "Finding Out You Have Cancer," where a wizard named Merlinda ensures children their cancer diagonsis is not their fault:

With about 20 videos under its belt, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and RPA won a Partnership of the Year Award from the 4A's, a national trade association, for the Imaginary Friend Society project in April. It's also a finalist in the ThinkLA's IDEA Awards, which celebrates advertising and marketing creativity from Southern California. 

Awards aside, the partnership between the two organizations is more than just creative marketing, it's about making a real difference in the lives of children with cancer.

"No offense to the work I've done for Apple and Honda, but this work fills me with such pride," Jason Sperling, RPA's senior vice president and chief of creative development told Campaign Live. "It's not often our work can have a positive impact on the world, or be so transformative. I don't have an experience with childhood cancer, but I know people who have, and how painful the whole thing is. And there's nothing worse than seeing kids deal with a life or death health issue, when they're at a point in their life when they should be playing, learning and having fun. It's not fair."

(H/T: Adweek)


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