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LEBANON (Press Release) - The song is uplifting and it's catchy. Katy Perry's latest hit "Roar" is about being a fighter in the face of a challenge, and for staff at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD,) it resonated deeply. Holly Gaspar, a Child Life specialist at CHaD, thought her patients would not only enjoy making a video, but it would be a wonderful way to pay tribute to those who supported the CHaD HERO (chadhero.org) fundraiser, held on October 20, which raised over $650,000 for CHaD. "All of our CHaD kids have a ROAR," says Gaspar. "Sometimes we hear it, sometimes we see it, and sometimes we feel it. They are strong, they are brave, they are all fighters."
Footage was gathered in one magical day, when all of the children featured were not only at CHaD, but most were feeling well enough to get out of bed and dance. Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO and President Dr. James Weinstein even made a special cameo.
Everything came together in time for a "Heroes Are Here" tribute event, held October 19 before the eighth-annual CHaD HERO half marathon race. Since its release, the video has allowed CHaD staff, families and patients to spread a wider message of hope and strength through the faces of "CHaD kids." Those who watch may want to have a tissue handy.
"It brought me to tears because that is what we do," said Susan Whalen, and pediatric nurse with 22 years of experience. "That is exactly what we do, day in and day out."
"It was simply amazing!" said the mother of a CHaD patient featured in the video. "I couldn't help but let the tears roll down onto my lap while smiling all the way. CHaD's dedication and commitment to their patients, along with their care of the entire family, doesn't go unnoticed. And that's why we live here."
As fate would have it, Chris Cammock founder of Sublime Eye (www.sublimeeye.com), had also heard the song, and thought of the kids at CHaD. "I feel so grateful to the staff and kids at DHMC and CHaD that helped make this vision of mine come to life. I would ask them to sing a line and they'd sing a verse. They were on fire and it was a real team effort to complete the project so quickly. It was magic." She and her producing partner, Jared Gunnell from Red J Media Productions (www.redjmediadesign.com,) donated their time and expertise to the project and finished the video just one week after filming. The outcome was a high-quality video which is continuing to spread over the internet, inspiring people from around the globe who have four minutes to watch and share the power of kids fighting their way back to full health.