This ‘Bad Blood’ parody is raising awareness for an important cause
When 32-year-old Kevin McDevitt married his wife, Stephanie last July, he had no idea that their first year together would be an emotional and physical rollercoaster. Noticing that he felt unusually tired, Kevin went to a doctor three months after the wedding, only to find out that the fatigue was being caused by two rare blood disorders, Aplastic Anemia and Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).
The diagnosis “rocked our world,” Kevin told Time. He underwent multiple treatments, including chemotherapy and blood transfusions two to three times a week. Though these procedures were helping, Kevin needed a bone marrow transplant to completely eradicate the diseases from his blood. Essentially, bone marrow makes blood, so the healthier the bone marrow, the stronger white blood cells are to fight off blood diseases. Additionally, when someone goes through radiation like Kevin did, existing bone marrow can be damaged, not able to function at its full capacity. A transplant was the best solution.
Finding a bone marrow donor can be a difficult process: The donor and receiver must share some genes to ensure that the body doesn’t reject the transplant. Parents, siblings, and other family members are usually doctors’ first choices when testing for bone marrow compatibility, but there is also a bone marrow registry, where doctors can quickly compare the DNA of patients and possible donors. When time is of the essence, finding a suitable donor quickly can mean saving a life.
Luckily, Kevin’s sister was approved to act as a donor. This past March, he not only received enough bone marrow to recover from his blood cancer, but he has now been on the mend for six months – that’s huge.
During his illness, Kevin met people from around the world dealing with the terrifying ordeal of finding a bone marrow donor, and he realized that not everyone has a sister or mother or uncle that will qualify as a match, or even volunteer for the procedure. He and his wife wanted to spread awareness about non-profits like Be the Match that make it easier to collect information about possible donors, and they got the word out in the best possible way: in a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” The video emphasizes that anyone can share information about their DNA with the registry, simply by swabbing the inside of their mouth and sending it to the non-profit.
Kevin told Time that the idea for the song came to him when the couple was celebrating their first anniversary as husband and wife. He spent two months working on the lyrics before the pair shot the hilarious yet informative music video, releasing it as he celebrates six months post-transplant.
Of course, the lyrics are super catchy and the video nods to many of the visuals in Taylor’s original cinematic masterpiece. However, these fun images take on a new meaning when associated with the horror of blood disease.
For instance, Kevin lies on a table, even dressed like Taylor. However, he’s surrounded by X-Rays, waiting for a diagnosis from his doctor.
Stephanie pulls a Zendaya, throwing knives like a badass, but instead of practicing to annihilate Selena Gomez’s girl army, she’s destroying different blood disorders.
Kevin and Stephanie clearly have an amazing sense of humor. Here, Kevin rides a child-size BMW in slow motion. The video also features cameos from other Aplastic Anemia patients who’ve benefitted from bone marrow transplants …
… as well as some who are still waiting to be matched.
The parody is both smile-inducing and sobering. What a creative way to let people know that they can register their donor information with Be the Match simply by swabbing the inside of their mouth. After all, doesn’t everyone deserve “Good Blood?”