PBTF - The Imaginary Friend Society

The Imaginary Friend Society

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and RPA debut 20 short films helping kids understand cancer.

The Imaginary Friend Society

After a diagnosis, the cancer process gets complicated for kids. Fighting cancer is hard enough. But the terminology, doctor’s visits, and procedures make it even harder. We learned that many kids who survived cancer relied on an imaginary friend as a coping mechanism during long hospital stays.

This coping mechanism became our inspiration.

Introducing the Imaginary Friend Society, a fictitious group of characters who appear in a series of 20 animated films helping kids understand and cope with the hardships of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment. These films cover everything from “What is an MRI?” to “Blood Transfusions” and “Feeling Sad.” We also developed an interactive experience for the siblings of cancer patients to better understand their feelings during this difficult time.

Case Study Overview


What is an MRI?

Feeling Sad


Returning to School


Blood Transfusions


View all 20 films

You can view all the films on the ImaginaryFriendSociety.com website.

“These films help us care for families going through their cancer journey by playfully explaining difficult aspects of cancer care in a way kids understand,” said Robin Boettcher, president and CEO of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

This pro bono, global film project was the culmination of many talented animation, music, and sound-design partners from around the world. Each partner created their own imaginary friend and produced a different cancer-related video with a script written by us.

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