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'Stronger': Patient turns cancer fight into viral video

The hematology/oncology floor of Seattle Children's Hospital performs Kelly Clarkson's song "Stronger."

A 22-year-old leukemia patient with a talent for video has turned the fight against cancer into an online anthem celebrating strength -- and recovery.

Chris Rumble of Kent, Wash., spent Saturday filming fellow patients, doctors and nurses on the hematology/oncology unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Dancing, singing and holding signs that read “Hope” and “Fighter,” they put together a moving makeshift video set to the tune “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson.

“It was kind of like a party,” said Rumble, who filmed the video during the day, stayed up late Saturday night and posted it on YouTube early Sunday.“It wasn’t a typical day at all.”

He was hoping to make a video to repay his teammates on the Wenatchee Wild hockey team, who had sent him a video when they learned of his illness. He appears in the video bald, singing and wearing an orange T-shirt.

Rumble spent 35 days on the pediatric and adolescent cancer ward because he was 21 when he was admitted, just on the line between adolescent and adult care. During his treatment, he says he became kind of big brother and role model to children coping with cancer.

“For me, personally, I try not to let anyone see my pain,” he said. “A lot of the kids are much younger and don’t understand what they’re going through.”

Simply making the video lifted the spirits of many of the children on the floor, said Brittany Skinner, 26, a pediatric hematology oncology nurse who is shown dancing and singing.

"It gave them something to shine through, I guess," she said. "Like the song said, 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'"

Rumble’s video surprised the public relations staff at the hospital, who woke up Sunday morning to a viral sensation. By early today, the video already had more than 64,000 hits.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Alyse Bernal, spokeswoman for Seattle Children’s. “It’s just taken off.”

Singer Kelly Clarkson got word of the Seattle Children's video and tweeted her approval: "Oh my goodness y'all have to see this! It's beautiful! I can't wait to visit these kids and nurses!" read a post on her account @Kelly_Clarkson. It wasn't immediately clear whether Clarkson actually plans to visit the hospital. 

As for Rumble, he was back at the hospital this morning for an appointment. On Friday, he'll learn whether his cancer is in remission.

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