08 Jun 2012
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has launched a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) to help raise awareness and deepen the understanding of the hospital's lifesaving mission through real St. Jude heroes – its patients and families.
St. Jude has not produced national PSAs since 2003 and timed the new multichannel campaign to coincide with the hospital's 50th anniversary.
The PSAs share St. Jude moments through patients and families such as 10-year-old Angiel. Angiel and her mom, Damaris, were planning a trip to Africa for a family reunion when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that produced tumors in both of Angiel's legs.
Today, thanks to St. Jude doctors, Angiel can still look forward to visiting family in a foreign land one day. Angiel's story is just one of several patients featured in the PSAs.
"For 50 years St. Jude has been dedicated to finding cures and saving the lives of children like Angiel," said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"However, childhood cancer still kills more children in the U.S. over the age of 1 than any other disease. Through our new PSAs, we want to share our lifesaving mission and show why our work is so critical. Who better to tell that story than the very patients and families whose lives are impacted the most by the work of St. Jude?"
The new PSA allows St. Jude to share its message in the African-American community through patients such as Angiel in her own words. At St. Jude, an African-American child has the same chances of survival as a white child, according to a recent St. Jude study. Historically, African-American cancer patients have been less likely than white cancer patients of any age to become long-term survivors. Thus the critical importance of educating communities about cancer and other deadly childhood diseases.
The PSA strategy is based on market research to define the purpose and messages for the campaign. The suite of PSAs, available in English and Spanish, is designed for use on television and radio, billboard and airport dioramas, in print and in interactive media.
All of the PSAs were shot in the hospital with patients currently in treatment and tell the story of what the children – many of them thousands of miles away from home – long for most: reading a night-time story in their own beds, seeing their pets, hugging a sibling, the everyday moments that mean so much to families whether their child is sick or healthy.
To view or download the PSAs, visit www.stjude.org/psa.