If you’re anything like us you’ve been completely sucked in (and emotionally drained) by the new campaign from SickKids hospital. How could you not be, given the way the ad depicts sick children putting up the fight of their lives? Especially during this time of the year?
One person who is definitely affected by those ads is Canada’s own Alessia Cara. The “Here” singer headed over to the hospital this week to perform, and also to raise awareness about a new Duracell campaign. For the entire month of December the company is donating some of its proceeds from all Walmart Duracell battery sales to the Children’s Miracle Network, which helps spread that money to different hospitals including SickKids.
Signing on to help spread the word was a no-brainer for Cara, not just because of the powerful ads but also because she was a former patient at the hospital herself.
“My brother was a patient here and so was I, for a couple of different reasons actually,” she tells us. “I had a major surgery here when I was younger (following a bad bacterial infection) and I got my tonsils removed here. And then my brother was a patient here for a while because he had whopping cough as a baby. So I would visit him every single day.”
The singer reveals that as a result she spent a “large majority” of her life at the hospital for her first five years, but that she always has really good memories of the place. In fact during the event she even wore her hair in pigtails as an homage to the doctor who did her surgery all those years ago.
“My mom used to always put my hair in braids, or French braids or pigtails, so I used to always have two braids or two pigtails on me,” she explains. “This doctor would always play with my braids and call me Pippie Longstocking. I remember vividly, just him playing with my braids and my hair.”
Cara also recalls wagon rides to check ups and just a bright, cheerful disposition about the place. She notes that it’s pretty amazing, considering the scary stuff she and her brother were up against as children.
“I just remember being treated really, really nicely and everything felt like it was a game and it was fun,” she remembers. “All these scary things were happening to me but it didn’t feel like it. They made me feel like I was at home, which is really great.”
As for those ads, Cara admits that they are sad but that they’re also powerful. And heading into the holidays they’re a great reminder of how lucky the rest of us are, and why it’s important to give back.
“I am one of the lucky ones who not only made it out as a patient but I’m also lucky just as a person. I get to spend Christmas with my family,” she explains. “It is sad, and it is an emotional thing but sometimes you have to really show the truth so that people can realize how lucky they are and what it is to give back as much as possible.”
We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves.