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Superheroes inspire kids coping with cancer treatment

June 6, 2013 at 11:47 AM ET

IV covers
Courtesy JWT Brazil
Special covers for intravenous bags have logos based on characters from the "Justice League" to help kids see chemotherapy as a "Superformula."

Little patients battling a big villain are getting a boost from some of their favorite superheroes at one hospital in Brazil.

The A.C.Camargo Cancer Center in São Paulo, working with advertising agency JWT, has transformed its children’s ward into the “Hall of Justice” – decorated with images of Batman and other famous DC Comics characters.

Warner Bros., which owns DC Comics and is another JWT client, was also involved.

The idea: to change the children’s perception of the treatment and help them understand how it works with the help of kid-friendly story lines.

“Beginning the treatment is always a scary process, as much for the child as it is for the family,” said Dr. Cecilia Lima da Costa, the head of pediatric oncology at the center, in a video promoting the project.

Special covers that feature familiar superhero logos now hold intravenous bags used during chemotherapy sessions with the kids and are meant to give the drugs the look of a “Superformula.” The covers were co-developed with doctors, are easy to sterilize and meet all hospital hygiene standards.

comics
Courtesy JWT Brazil
Special comic books designed for the kids with cancer continue the storyline of superheroes getting better with the help of the "Superformula."

To continue the story line, the ad agency also came up with special comic books in which the superheroes go through battles similar to the ones the kids are experiencing with cancer.

The same “Superformula” plays a large role in helping the superheroes get better and regain strength – a narrative meant to give kids hope and have faith in the medicine.

“I think that many children are now going to understand how this treatment can give them a magic power, through this ‘Superformula,’” said Yelma Jacob, a pediatric oncology nurse, in the video promoting the project.

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