Lakota East High School has already raised awareness and more than $11,000 for the Center for Spina Bifida Care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, but that could only be the beginning as the school hopes its “lip dub” video goes viral and attracts the attention of Ellen DeGeneres.
The video, which was first shown publicly during showings at the high school on Friday, was posted online Tuesday evening.
The “lip dub” was filmed April 18 at the high school. Film students from East and the University of Cincinnati pointed the cameras, while the project leaders from the Lakota East National Honor Society told them what to shoot.
Students were lip-synching to the music, dressed up in costumes, danced in the background, as well as used roller blades, glow sticks and a helicopter in an impressive production that lasted only one Thursday afternoon.
“I can honestly say that I’ve watched the lip dub more than 100 times. And it just keeps getting better each time I view it,” said senior Sydney Aten, NHS president. “I get goosebumps. I shed tears.
“It’s unlike anything else I ever have and probably ever will experience. I love my school. I love my teachers. I love my community. They made this happen.”
The project was kick started during a school assembly in February, when a student at VanGorden Elementary inspired East students to get behind it.
Amelia Murphy, 11, received a standing ovation during that assembly when she shared her story to a packed gym. Murphy, who suffers from Spina Bifida, has had 62 surgeries, many on her brain and her spine.
“Spina Bifida is basically a condition with your spinal cord and your brain,” Murphy said. “Symptoms vary. Some people can walk and some people can’t. I have had half my surgeries on my head. It can be really tough, but my family has been with me through all of it.”
The support of her family, which includes her sisters, Claire, 13, and Emma, 16, doesn’t end at school or at home. She also gets special attention during her visits to Cincinnati Children’s, where her mom, Pam, works as patient advocate in family relations.
With the attention of the community, East hopes it attract national awareness for Spina Bifida by having their video shared or featured on the “Ellen Show”.
Just prior to the filming, producers of the show contacted Aten, who said a producer told her that they are supportive of the cause and their efforts. They also said they wanted to get the message out and are anxiously waiting for the release of the video.
In the meantime, donations are still being accepted at the school’s donation website through Cincinnati Children’s website, giving.cincinnatichildrens.org/netcommunity/eastnhsdub.