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A scene from the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital video for "Brave."

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Ailing kids star in heartfelt viral videos from Twin Cities, beyond

  • Article by: Randy Salas
  • Star Tribune
  • October 24, 2013 - 4:00 PM

Viral videos are garnering attention for a Twin Cities children’s hospital and others around the country — and tugging at viewers’ heartstrings in the process.

The recent buzz started with a video created by nurses at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. It shows young cancer patients singing and dancing to Sara Bareilles’ “Brave,” a song picked because the kids often have to be encouraged to be brave as they deal with their medical challenges, a hospital spokeswoman says.

“These nurses did it themselves, the editing — pretty ambitious,” says spokeswoman Jennifer Amundson. “I think they did a really good job. The kids are excited about it, too.”

So is Bareilles, based on a tweet she posted after watching the video:

So far, the Amplatz Children’s Hospital’s “Brave” video has received about 750,000 views on YouTube since being posted Oct. 7. Many viewers have offered words of support for the hospital’s efforts and commented on how inspirational the video is.

“Bawling´╗┐ my eyes out,” one wrote. “This is so powerful! Absolutely beautiful!”

The Twin Cities-made video seems to have gotten a dramatic bump in viewership in the past day from New Hampshire. A similar video was posted recently by the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and viewers have commented that they found out about the Minnesota video after watching the New Hampshire one. The latter clip, posted Monday, features young patients singing along to Katy Perry’s empowerment anthem “Roar.” It has received more than 1 million views in just a few days.

The video began as a tribute to the participants in the hospital’s annual Heroes Half Marathon, its major fundraiser, explains hospital spokesman Rick Adams.

“The song had been on the mind of one of our child life specialists, who decided to make it happen and put this all together in about five days,” he says. “The video shooting and production work was donated by a local producer. Once the race was over and our participants and supporters had seen it, we posted it to our YouTube channel. From there, social media took over, and the video has taken off.”

Of course, the viral video that might have inspired both recent efforts appeared a year and a half ago from Seattle Children’s Hospital, featuring Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” That clip has been viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube.

Here are all three videos if you want to see how long you can watch without tearing up over the determination and strength of their young stars.

Star Tribune staff writer Allie Shah contributed to this report.

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