When You're Telling Stories About Kids in Pain, the Best Approach Is To Let Them Do the Talking.
Imagine for a moment that you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night. Your child is screaming. You rush to her room and find her in bed, writhing in agony. There’s nothing you can do to ease the pain.
So you stand there, feeling helpless.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too real, and occurs frequently to families suffering from sickle cell disease. Pain episodes can begin occurring at a very early age—usually during the first year, around five months.
One out of 365 African Americans is affected by this disease.
If you’re black, the statistics are pretty scary. One out of 13 African Americans is born with the sickle cell trait (meaning they’re a carrier but never develop symptoms), and one out of 365 is born with the disease.
That’s millions of children affected, worldwide.
The most effective way to tell this story? Video of course.
Kids with sickle cell disease experience horrible, debilitating pain. Episodes can begin at any time, and last for days, even weeks at a time.
To tell that story in excruciating detail, we interviewed seven different families suffering from sickle cell disease—kids between the ages of 7 and 17, and their moms, too.
Each one shared stories in their own words, about the disease, treatment, and cure.
We ended up with so much footage, we didn’t just do one video, we did seven. Here's one about a mom named Alexia and her son, Jayvon. They both have sickle cell disease.
The nation's largest pediatric treatment program is right here in Georgia.
The Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta treats over 1,900 kids with sickle cell disease.
They use blood transfusions, oxygen therapy and other treatments to help manage pain—the number one symptom of sickle cell disease.
They’re also a leader in curing the disease using blood marrow transplants. Unfortunately, only about one in 10 patients ever finds a matching donor.
Here's a video about a transplant recipient named Xavier. He was cured of sickle cell disease about a year ago.
Many thanks to the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center for the amazing work that they do, and to all the families and hospital staff that participated in this production. Also, thank you to Benny Bennafield, Greg Kerns and Kim Carey for the production and conceptual help.
If you'd like to donate to the Aflac Center, please click here.
And if you're interested in producing video for your healthcare organization or nonprofit, please give us a call.