Hip-Hop cartoon promotes self-esteem for children with cancer
A partnership, the first of its kind, has come together to offer a new and creative way to help kids who are battling cancer. Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, a nonprofit organization providing education and comfort to children with cancer, has collaborated with New York-based Flocabulary, a company that composes educational hip-hop songs and videos to create a cartoon promoting self-esteem for children battling this disease. The two companies hope the result of their collaboration will motivate cancer patients to not give up on their identity and will-power and boost their self-esteem.
We all know it can be a scary world out there for a child, but to juggle cancer at the same time can be tough, not to mention extremely unfair. The cartoon video, titled “I’m Still Me” was created to encourage children who go through this life-threatening disease to stay positive, hold their heads up high, and stay true to who they are. This video reinstates the fact that even though cancer is a part of them now, it should not define who they are. It gets the message across that children should still be themselves and can still live a normal life. The light-hearted cartoon addresses topics relevant to cancer diagnosis and appeals to children of all ages. The music video gives insight into the changes a child dealing with cancer will experience and helps children learn that they are not alone and are still the same kid they were before being diagnosed.
Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is a program of the Nashville-based nonprofit organization, Gabe’s My Heart. This program was established in 2004 by Lu Sipos, mother of 10-year-old cancer survivor for almost nine years, Gabe Sipos. It aims to provide education and comfort to children while exposing them to their new life. The program encourages healing through the power of play therapy using therapeutic tools. The goal of the program is to enable hospital staff and parents to prepare children for chemotherapy treatment and eliminate the fear of the unknown with the help of a cuddly pal named Chemo Duck. Chemo Duck is a stuffed yellow duck dressed in blue hospital scrubs with a bandana around its head, a chemotherapy port on its chest, and an immobilizer on his arm. With Chemo Duck by their side, children learn what to expect during cancer treatment and also have a friend to share the experience with. In turn, children can use Chemo Duck to help friends, siblings, and classmates to understand and empathize with their experience. In addition to providing Chemo Ducks, this comprehensive program has developed tools and resources for parents and caregivers, games and educational materials for children, tips for healthcare professionals, and much more. A donation of $25 provides a Chemo Duck to a child living with cancer. Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program has provided more than 20,000 ducks to children around the world.
While Flocabulary has never worked with the healthcare industry before, they have decided to come together to “do something impactful and help kids who are struggling with cancer treatments,” says Alex Rappaport, founder and CEO of Flocabulary. “If we put a smile on just one kid’s face, then we have done our part.”
Founded in 2004, Flocabulary is an online learning platform that delivers educational hip-hop songs and videos to students in grades K-12. Flocabulary typically works within the educational field and has videos in more than 15,000 schools across the country. Their mission is to motivate kids and help them reach their full academic potential, not only by raising test scores but by fostering a love of learning in every child. Flocabulary has been proven to raise scores on state reading tests, increase vocabulary proficiency in schools and boost achievement in afterschool settings. Their lesson sequence builds readiness for college and careers through rigorous, multisensory practice. Their success shines bright with a weekly audience of nearly six million students.
Now being involved in the health care industry, Lu Sipos, founder of Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, says, “Flocabulary has been instrumental to bringing Gabe’s story to life in a unique way and helping children understand what they are going through.”
Watch the video here -