Susan G. Komen's Heartrending PSAs Stare Straight in the Face of Terminal Cancer

Spots by Breast Cancer Charity Susan G. Komen Features a Real-Life Mother of Three

Published On
Sep 28, 2017

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For the first time, breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen has created a campaign that directly addresses what it means to have terminal Stage IV metastatic cancer.

Two black-and-white films feature a real-life cancer sufferer, Valynda Planeta, a 38-year-old mother of three. She speaks movingly about writing letters to her children to be opened at points throughout their lives, such as their graduations and the day that they themselves become parents. She also talks about how her own mother has told her repeatedly said that she wishes she could "take this" for her, as no-one should have to go through it. In another spot, Planeta slowly removes the fake eyelashes and the wig that she wears to compenstate for hair lost through her ongoing chemo treatments. The ads end by making the point that no mother should have to do this.

While the spots are straightforward, they differ from most cancer campaigns in that they're starkly painful and don't offer a message of hope for the person featured -- only that you, the donor, could make things better by giving money to research.

The campaign is by the charity's agency of record, the Dalton Agency.