Young cancer patient’s music video goes viral

A music video that started as a young cancer patient’s way to cope with his illness has gone viral.

Chris Rumble, 22, was diagnosed in April with leukemia. While undergoing treatment at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Rumble, whose family has ties to Barrie, Ont., decided to make a music video set to Kelly Clarkson’s hit song, “Stronger.”

The video features patients, hospital staff and family members dancing and lip-synching the tune. Some patients hold up signs with the words “hope” and “fighter”. Many of the children are bald and attached to IVs as they sing: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”


A fan of Clarkson, Rumble thought the song lyrics were fitting for a fight against cancer.

The video has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube, prompting a response from Clarkson herself.

In a video message, she thanked the children and hospital staff for the video.

“It made my day. I know it’s making everybody else’s day online. It’s so beautiful and it’s so meaningful,” she said.

According to the hospital’s blog, Rumble created the video as part of a creative arts program for patients with cancer, assisted by John Blalock, the hospital’s artist-in-residence, and video producer Mike Attie. Seattle University film students Ben Anderson, Sawyer Purman and Lael Rogers helped with the filming.

Just a little more than a month ago, Rumble was a normal youth, playing hockey and making movies.

He began to feel unwell and thought he had mono, but doctors told him that 95 per cent of his blood was full of leukemia cells.

“It was kind of like in a movie when you are sitting there and it is kind of like the tunnel feeling. You can’t really hear anything or see anything around you,” said Rumble, who has lived in the state of Washington for the past three years where he played for the Wenatchee Wild hockey team.

The hardest part for him was having to tell his mother.

“I just kind of held together and didn’t cry and just said, ‘Okay, what do we need to do?'” said his mother, Jennifer Rumble.

But just like the song says, Rumble is himself getting stronger.

Doctors have told him he has an immature form of leukemia, the kind that four rounds of chemotherapy should beat.

“Our take on it is that this is just an inconvenience. It’s a six-month inconvenience,” said his father, Darren Rumble, a former professional hockey player from Canada and current assistant coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds.

“There is only one outcome here, it’s going to be a victory.”


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