How a Friendly Moose Named Mary Helps Kids Understand Multiple Myeloma
A diagnosis of multiple myeloma is incredibly difficult news even for the strongest of people. Now imagine you’re a young child facing this information about someone you love and rely on.
Stories can be useful in situations like these. They are a way to safely engage with issues that are challenging to deal with in real life. In this animated video — Mary and the Bravest Grandma in the World — Mary discovers her grandma has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Told from Mary’s perspective, the story is written in language that a young person can relate to. With simple, non-threatening words, Mary learns how multiple myeloma is a disease characterized by periods of relapse and remission1 and she is carefully introduced to concepts like good and bad plasma cells2. She also observes symptoms such as joint pain and feeling out of breath3 and she is shown how treatment is affecting her grandma. At first Mary is sad she can’t spend time with her, but she soon comes to accept the diagnosis.
By the end of the story, Mary feels safe in the knowledge her grandma is receiving treatment. When her grandma is feeling ok, she is happy they can spend time together doing things Mary loves, like playing with building blocks and going to the park. Most importantly, the video is an insight into how such a diagnosis is experienced through the eyes of a young girl.