Even though I am not on the Children’s Floor, I see my fellow patients fighting their own battles and our amazing team of doctors and nurses, who help us with whatever needs to get done. This video is a representation of my new world and how even in the cancer ward, the beauty of the human spirit is shining brightly and refuses to be diminished.
Saturday, May 5th, was unlike any other day on Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Hematology Oncology floor. The beats of Kelly Clarkson’s song “Stronger” rang through the halls as patients sang out the familiar chorus, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…”
Doctors, nurses, parents and patients showed off their best dance moves while harmonizing to the tune with big smiles on their face. Patients held up signs with the words “hope” and “fighter” – all communicating the important message that they are strong.
This fun celebration of strength was thanks to Chris Rumble, a 22-year-old Children’s cancer patient who lives in Kent, Wash., who was recently diagnosed with leukemia in April. Chris had the idea to make a music video to share with his old hockey team in Wenatchee because his teammates had made him a music video for his birthday.
“I’m everyone’s big brother and I have a lot of friends here at Seattle Children’s,” says Chris. “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.”
What about the song choice? Chris said that he is a fan of Kelly Clarkson and thought the words were perfect for relating to cancer.
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.
“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.”
As for his teammate’s response to the video, “They all think it is awesome and they can’t stop watching it,” says Chris.
A promising hockey player on his way to a professional career, Chris Rumble 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 mono. That is where he received a leukemia diagnosis. Eight hours later he was at Children’s.
“The diagnosis hit me like a brick wall. I was really worried about playing hockey again but I didn’t have time to be sad because everything just happened so fast,” says Chris. “The hardest part was telling people, especially my mom. She made it easier though as she just said, ‘OK we’ll beat it.’”
Chris is now undergoing about a 6-month treatment plan at Children’s and he will be done with therapy in September, just in time for hockey season to begin in October.