Kent’s video inspires the sick to be stronger

In early May, children with bald heads and big smiles danced in Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Hematology Oncology floor.

Kent resident Chris Rumble

Kent resident Chris Rumble

In early May, children with bald heads and big smiles danced in Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Hematology Oncology floor.

They held up signs with the words “hope” and “fighter” as they sang along to Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” This celebration of strength was instigated by Kent resident Chris Rumble, a 22-year-old Children’s Hospital cancer patient recently diagnosed with leukemia in April.

The video went viral shortly Rumble released it on YouTube. It now has a little over 2 million hits.

“I was blown away by the video itself as well as the success of it,” said Darren Rumble, Chris’ father. “I think it’s something that touches everyone’s heart so much. You see these kids that are very ill but are staying positive and it’s so powerful that I think it took off because everyone wanted to send it to people they know.”

Chris wanted to make the music video to share with his hockey team, the Wenatchee Wild, to let them know how he was doing.

“I’m everyone’s big brother and I have a lot of friends here at Seattle Children’s,” Chris said in a blog online. “I wanted to make a video to send back to my team and I thought what better way to do it then with the kids on my floor.”

Chris said creating the video was a blast as it was great to see everyone, including doctors, nurses, patients and parents, out in the hallways participating. He is a fan of Kelly Clarkson and thought the words were perfect for relating to cancer.

“It was not only good to see the kids happy, but it was also great to see how their parents were so happy as they watched their kids just being kids – dancing, singing and having fun,” says Chris. “The kids will also enjoy being able to watch the video forever and share it with their friends and family.”

Clarkson sent a video message to the children at the hospital after viewing Chris’ work. Clarkson commented that the video was amazing and said, “This video is so beautiful and meaningful and it made my day. This is just the coolest thing to be able to watch and I can’t wait to meet you.”

 

Chris’ Story

A promising hockey player on his way to a professional career, Chris lived in Wenatchee for the past three years where he played for the Wenatchee Wild hockey team. In April, after having swollen glands and being urged by others to visit a doctor, Chris visited a Wenatchee clinic to be tested for Mononucleosis.

Doctors told Chris he had leukemia and sent him to receive treatment at Children’s Hospital.

“It’s not easy, but Chris is doing well and we are getting through it,” Darren said. “He has a good attitude, a fighter’s spirt and is plowing threw it.”

Chris is now undergoing about a 6-month treatment plan at Children’s and is set to be complete therapy in September. He finished his last round of chemotherapy last weekend.

“A big part of treatment is getting up and walking around,” Darren said. “So Chris would walk and he met a lot of patients that way and became close to them. Everyone just has unbelievable stories.”

Chris has made videos for his hockey teams over the years and has an account set up on YouTube. This interest led him to join Children’s Hospital’s Not Now creative arts program for patients with cancer.

The aim of Not Now is to help adolescents and young adults cope with cancer and provide psychosocial support through creative projects and by connecting them with peers. In recognizing that art has the ability to restore a sense of accomplishment and independence that patients often feel has been lost after a cancer diagnosis, the program helps give them a voice in telling their story through a variety of mediums including photography, video and music.

“Chris got an idea for the video together and went around to different patients asking them if they wanted to be a part of it,” Darren recalled. “Most were really excited. He spent two weeks diligently working on this.”

Chris hopes to beat cancer in time to attend Canisius College in New York, where he will play on their hockey team.

“He found out his treatment would be done by August 15 and he decided he would go straight to school from there,” Darren said. “I believe he will be strong enough to do it. I believe his desire to play hockey will help him get through this.”


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