The Mimi Foundation, a French organization that specializes in easing the suffering of cancer patients, has hit the headlines throughout the world in recent days, with its latest public awareness initiative.
After one woman diagnosed with cancer was heard saying that what she missed most from life before her illness was “being carefree,” the foundation – which also has locations in Belgium and Switzerland – got together with advertising firm Leo Burnett, and produced something very special indeed.
They took a group of 20 cancer patients, put them in a room with a team of stylists, told them to keep their eyes closed throughout, made them completely unrecognizable with hair and makeup, and sat them in front of a mirror.
What they didn't know, is that the Mimi Foundation had also put a cameraman on the other side of the mirror.
The result is this short film entitled “If only for a second” (Ne serait ce qu'une seconde).
Hayat, one of the 20 patients whose smiles have been melting hearts around the world. Photo: Mimi Foundation
The super-slow motion video of each cancer patient opening their eyes, and their flabbergasted reactions to seeing themselves as never before, has gone viral, bringing inspiration and joy to millions around the world in recent days.
Some of the nearly three million people who have watched it – in English, French and Dutch – on Youtube, were overwhelmed with emotion.
“Dammit! This made me laugh and cry at the same time,” said one. “Watching these brave people smile brings a tear and a HUGE smile to me,” said another.
See for yourself below, and go to "If only for a second" to find out more about the project, and make a donation to the work of the Mimi Foundation.