Inspiring ad for a Toronto children's hospital

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I always liked how blunt and to the point the name “Hospital for Sick Children” was. Reminds me how some departments of genetics used to be called departments of “experimental breeding”.

I don’t think it’s fair to say overall reaction has been positive. It’s created a lot of controversy here in Toronto. Here’s one summary of why many parents are upset:

And here’s some MSM coverage of the controversy:

A generation ago people were talking about “curing” being gay. To many of those with autism, talk of a cure is equally offensive.


Thanks for the links.

It’s tough, because all the points made are totally valid, but that video is massively powerful. And I say that as someone who understands all too well that portraying illness as something a patient has to “fight” and be “strong” against is very flawed (because no matter how hard you fight, you don’t always win, and as you say, something like autism isn’t necessarily something to fight against).


The battle metaphor works when you don’t view it as an individual struggle but as a group struggle. A person cannot battle their illness, but a society can combine its collective resources to cure an illness. That girl isn’t standing on a pile of wheelchairs because she was strong, she’s there because of societies collective efforts to eradicate the diseases that confine kids to wheelchairs. That’s the message here donate and be part of the collective struggle.


That interpretation would be far more plausible if she wasn’t utterly alone in the image.

Awesome, donating…

These are the words of people too close to an issue. I respect their opinions, and I see their point, but it’s not really relevant to ultimately what is a marketing campaign to a wider audience.

For everyone else who don’t have a child’s disability as part of their every day lives, this is powerful and effective messaging, full stop.


But that’s why it’s a pile of wheel chairs and crutches.

I had a dear friend that “battled” cancer for ten years. I had the same impulse as most people to urge her to fight, to never give up, etc. No one wants people they love to “give up”.

Later, toward the end of things, she helped me understand that such attitudes made her feel like setbacks or dying were cowardly failures. She felt that she’d be letting loved ones down if she didn’t continue with painful, torturous treatments that doctors admitted would have very little chance of helping. It wasn’t her fault that the treatments didn’t work, she couldn’t have fought harder to make them work better.

I’ve never forgotten that. I can see the point of this commercial, but at the same time, I am not sure setting up these situations as win/lose, courage scenarios is fair.

Of course people are unhappy, because you’ll never please everyone and to attempt to is insanity. No good deed goes unpunished. My daughter has been in the hospital over 100 days this year and I love this ad.

This video is immensely powerful that it shows in such a impressive way the impact of donation.

I’m sorry to hear that. I hope she’s okay.

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