What these heroic moms want for Mother's Day will break your heart

SickKids hospital's 'VS' campaign continues with this powerful Mother's Day ad

Published On
Apr 24, 2018

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Jewelry, flowers, spa days and boxes of chocolates are ephemera compared to the gift these heroic moms are hoping for this Mother's Day--their children's lives.

Canada's SickKids Foundation and its agency Cossette have rewritten the rules on creating advertising around the sensitive subject of children with life-threatening diseases in its "VS" campaign. It continues the powerful storytelling in this holiday spot capturing the grief and strength of five real moms whose kids are undergoing treatment at the hospital.

The film, titles "Sick Kids Vs. Nothing," juxtaposes what the mothers think of typical gifts associated with the celebration with their simple, everyday treasures. Heidi found out her son Mark had leukemia around the time of Mother's Day last year, and they've spent the months since practically living at SickKids. Their vignette shows Heidi explaining, "I don't need a fancy dinner" as she warms up Mark's food in the microwave and brings it to his hospital bed.

Claudia, mom to Emma, stood by her 13-year-old daughter when she made the decision to have her leg amputated from the knee-down after suffering osteosarcoma. "I don't need chocolate. I don't need flowers," Claudia says.

While many mothers may not have undergone the pain the women in this film have endured, the ad's universal message puts in stark relief what the true joys of motherhood are.

"We wanted to continue to tell the stories of these unsung heroes in our communities and help people better understand what they go through every day," said Cossette Global Chief Creative Officer Peter Ignazi in a statement. "The VS platform features real children, parents and people, who are fighting every day."