The video starts.
We see a young girl sitting on a sofa with her dog.
She’s wearing a black dance outfit with bare feet and legs.
We can’t help but notice one of her legs ends at the knee.
What really captures our attention is that this short leg also has a foot, but the foot is backwards.
Was she born this way?
We wonder what this video is going to be about.
Beside her sits a prosthetic leg.
The young girl, Gabi, explains…
I won’t spoil it; you can watch it for yourself (it’s short) but let me just say, I personally found it astounding.
The video is made by an organization called TheTruth365.org *.
Their mandate is to tell stories of childhood cancer, “to shine a light on the state of childhood cancer research funding” and to promote their stories through social media channels.
They could have used social media to set up petitions, publish statistics, organize protests, and/or rally support for funding.
Instead, they chose storytelling.
TheTruth365.org (unfortunately) has lots of stories to tell.
So how do they choose from which angle to tell their stories?
For example, Gabi’s story could have gone like this…
Scenario 1: The opening shot begins with a close-up of a prosthetic leg. It zooms slowly out as we watch the maker of the prosthetic tinker with the mechanisms. We hear how he and his team help numerous children like Gabi gain physical abilities they lost after cancer treatment surgeries.
It would be interesting to watch them craft and refine Gabi’s prosthetic so she can dance. How many iterations did it take to perfect her dance-leg alone? How many people worked on her one prosthetic? How much time does the team put in for each leg they produce? How many visits does Gabi make for fittings? What happens as she grows? How much money does all this cost?
This video would show the importance for funding because a prosthetic is one important piece of the childhood cancer puzzle.
Scenario 2: Gabi is sitting on a doctors examination table. A smiling surgeon stands before her, his left hand resting gently on her right shoulder. Gabi is looking up at him smiling while her mom and dad look on – smiling too. We pan out and see her leg. The surgeon begins to describe Gabi’s cancer and why he needed to amputate her leg. He goes on to explain (in his best layman’s terms) why they attached Gabi’s foot to her knee area and why they attached it ‘backwards’.
This video is about the surgeon and the procedure used to help Gabi and others like her. It could follow the surgical team as they come up with this solution. Is this something they do often – a routine procedure – or a specialty for certain cases only, like Gabi’s? How many doctors specialize in cancer treatments for children? Is there a long list of children waiting for surgery? What issues do the doctors face as far as funding restrictions?
Medical funding is vital for the treatment of childhood cancer, a final message would read.
Both of these scenarios tell Gabi’s story from highly regarded, well-educated professionals who work in the realm of childhood cancer. They know how badly funding is needed.
Instead, TheTruth365.org chose to produce this video from Gabi’s point of view.
Gabi is a child. She does not have a medical degree. She does not have an engineering degree. She doesn’t even a high school diploma.
Why would TheTruth365.org think a story from her perspective would convince anyone there is a need for funding?
Because Gabi’s story, told from her perspective, draws us into her world.
In her own words we hear how her life was before she got cancer and how her life is now, thanks to the help of the surgeons and the prosthetic designers and engineers.
We can see for ourselves how the surgery worked; she demonstrates by moving her foot. We can see how the prosthetic works as she fastens it to her leg.
We can imagine ourselves in Gabi’s position. How would we have coped if given such a diagnosis at her age? Would we have continued to try to dance or would we have given up that dream? Would it have even been possible – was there enough funding back then?
We imagine our own child having to battle cancer. The unfairness of it all. How heart-wrenching it would be to watch our child go through treatments and learn to cope after recovery, especially with any physical challenges brought about by life-saving surgery such as Gabi’s.
What would we want for our own child?
What would we fight for so our own kid could have the best chance to fulfill their dreams?
Gabi’s story, told from her perspective, draws us in emotionally; not in a false inauthentic attempt at getting our money, but through the simple, true, sadly all-too-common reality that many children just like Gabi face on a daily basis.
Gabi’s story makes us feel we can help change the trajectory of another child’s story because we aren’t bombarded by the vast numbers of children with cancer who fight daily thereby making us feel overwhelmed, but because Gabi is one child. We can help one child.
Gabi’s story motivates us to fight for proper legislation, funding and support – which is the message the producers want us to get. It helps us to realize the need to find a cure for childhood cancer before other young children like Gabi – maybe even our own child – with dreams of dancing…or skating, or running, or walking…have to lose their leg and endure a barrage of cancer treatments too.
Gabi’s is a story we can connect with and support.
Gabi’s is a story we’ll remember and will share with others.
Each of the video scenarios could be used to gain awareness, funding and legislation.
I ask you, which video would have moved you to share with others and/or take action? In other words, which one would move you to open your wallet and donate?
Think about the stories of the people you help. Which stories can you tell and from what angle?
Did this story make you see your stories differently? Share below.
As always, I would be happy to talk with you about getting your stories out into the world. Contact me here.
To watch more stories from TheTruth365.org visit their YouTube page.
*Note, I am in no way affiliated with TheTruth365.org. I am merely sharing a story that moved me. I look for stories that are great examples of storytelling in business and fundraising and share them with you so that you may see how your stories can gain loyal customers and donors.