It has been 3 weeks since CHaD's Roar was heard all around the world--and well, it continues to roar. Right now, we are at 2,719,087 views, actually 2,721,944 since I started writing the post this morning. It has been viewed in over 117 countries.
We were featured on buzzfeed, perez hilton, yahoo news, dailynews, Huffington Post, local news, national news, the daily dot, CNN, German news, Indian news, Italian news (to name a few) and we continue to get requests for interviews. On the outset, there was no intention of making this video a fundraising tool, it was more a celebration and thank you for the support from the CHaD Hero, but they have received donations from Europe, Singapore, South Africa, and all over the US in direct response to the video.
Yesterday, I was speaking with a woman in California who is writing a piece about the video. At one point, I was recounting the thrill of those few days after it went live and watching it break 1 MILLION views in under 72 hours and I had to pause because I unexpectedly started crying, a lot. I have felt emotional about this project along the way but, perhaps, as the producer, I haven't let my guard down because I had work to do. Well, I am feeling it now.
It has been remarkable to hear the kids, who participated in the video, have a place to voice their feelings about being sick and being able to have fun in the video.
It has been remarkable to hear the parents of these kids talk about the strength and renewal it has given them to see their kids smile.
It has been remarkable to hear the staff of DHMC feel a renewed and empowered energy for their own work community.
It has been remarkable to read comments from ALL OVER THE WORLD and how the video has connected to their own experiences.
It has been remarkable to be a part of a viral video that has nothing to do with cats or babies biting fingers.
It has been remarkable, for myself as a creative, to have had this opportunity to be so closely connected to such an incredible collaboration.
It has been remarkable.
I'd like to share one story in particular. On that Tuesday morning when I went to CHaD to film, I was asked to visit a certain patient in her room. I was told that the girl did not want to lip sync but she wanted to be in the video. When I went into her room, she was sitting up in bed. She was a wearing a pink hat and a fluorescent green shirt. She said her name was "Lexy". Her mom was busy getting ready for the morning, obviously living at the hospital with her daughter for who knows how many days. Later, I was told that her caregivers were surprised to see her sitting up because she hadn't in a while.
I was literally only with Lexy for 5 minutes and I asked if she could point to herself and at the camera (thinking of a particular part of the song) and we did that a few times and that was it. We didn't chat much but in the end, I feel like it is one of the most powerful moments in the video. She may look sick, but their is a peace and strength in her that is...remarkable.
Later I found out that would be one of Lexy's last days awake and she was being kept asleep to help her manage the great deal of pain she was in. A facebook page was created by her friends and family, and I watched it go from a few hundred followers to just over 10,000 in the last three weeks. Everyday it was updated to say, that Lexy was still in a great deal of pain but that the thoughts, prayers, and likes of that page were giving Lexy and her family strength.
I think Lexy was too sick to ever see the video but they told her about it going viral and the amazing reception that it received. I also read on her facebook page that her family and friends saw the Roar video as a legacy to her. I read on the page yesterday afternoon that she had passed away. I hope that she heard the words her family and found joy in knowing that millions of people would see her fighting. The part of the song that she is featured on says, "I am a champion, and you're going to"... Lexy we have heard your roar.
My prayers are with her parents, family, and friends at this time.