Saturday, October 13, 2012

When families stay closer, children heal faster

Every once in awhile, an ad comes a long that gives you goosebumps. The Ronald McDonald House commercial is that ad for me.

The ad opens with a pair of hands holding a picture of a child with no hair. It's an image that instantly telegraphs a message to us all: This child has cancer.
The visual is powerful, demanding that you pay attention to what is being shown and said. A haunting childlike melody plays in the background, singing "only love can put the pieces back."

Throughout the spot, the picture changes, gradually adding hair as the boy transforms from a 3-year old with leukemia to the 6-year old survivor he is today. (Behind-the-scenes of how the photos were made here.)
The adorable, healthy, little boy's name is Anastacio Cuevas. Thanks to the Ronald McDonald House, Anastacio and his family were able to stay close to the hospital where he received chemotherapy ... and close to each other. As the ad so eloquently states, "When families stay closer, children heal faster."
Cancer is an insidious disease, one that has touched all of us in one way or another, but when it touches a child, it is a complete travesty. As a cancer survivor myself, I completely understand how important family is during the healing process. It can make all the difference in the world.

Ronald McDonald House Charities provide resources and stability to more than 4.5 million children and families a year at 305 Ronald McDonald's Houses around the world.


Sue Northey - Find me on