MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From the moment the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital’s nurses and patients unveiled their version of Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave,” it was sure to go viral.
But Brittany Bloemke and Natalie Snyder never knew it would be this big.
“Speechless is the best word. It was something fun we wanted to do for our patients and our staff,” said Snyder.
The two nurses taught everyone the choreography to the inspiring Bareilles song, Snyder shot most of the video, and they posted it to YouTube. Then they watched the hits start piling up.
“I remember the first night we hit 1,000 views. We thought ‘Oh my God! A thousand people,'” said Snyder. “Then we hit the million mark. It was mind-blowing!”
As of May 2014, the video has been seen 1.4 million times on YouTube. According to the Children’s Hospital research, the video has been seen by 13 million people on television, after exposure on national news programs.
“Our kids go through so much every day, we have to see them be brave. They go beyond the definition of brave,” said Snyder.
In a way, the video’s breakout star became Sara Ewald, who you wouldn’t have known was a cancer patient until she removed her wig in the video.
“They said, ‘We have this great idea, you’re going to strut and whip your wig off,'” she said, laughing.
It didn’t take long before people started forwarding those links onto Bareilles herself, who surprised the nurses live on HLN.
“It’s exactly the kind of thing that gives the life of the song that we’re looking for,” said Bareilles. “It’s so inspiring, thank you for the gift of that.”
Today, Bloemke and Snyder are still recognized from the video, and so is Ewald, now a student at the U of M.
“We’re still hoping she’ll become a nurse, she’d be a great one,” Bloemke said.
The video still inspires patients at the hospital and people around the world today.
“Bottom line, they are brave. The song couldn’t be more perfect,” said Snyder.