News & Politics

A Girl in Chemo Made a PSA About Why You Should Stay Home, and It’s Amazing

Coronavirus 2020

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Fifth grader Orli Wildman Halpern recently posted a sticker-laden message on TikTok: I know quarantine is hard but do it for me. We’ve been told to socially distance for weeks, but safety measures carry extra importance for Wildman Halpern. The 11-year-old is immunocompromised; she started chemotherapy in December after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Shortly after starting chemo, the family realized Wildman Halpern needed a liver transplant, which she received on March 4. While in recovery, she made the sunny TikTok reminding others that safety measures serve a common good—especially for those with weakened immune systems. In the video, Wildman Halpern is dancing like a ballerina to the tune of “Shotgun” by George Ezra, encircled by a colorful collage of healthy best practices.

As we enter another weekend isolated at home, the video is a personal reminder of why precautions are important.

“We need to take care of anyone who’s vulnerable, and that might be older people, that might be anyone who’s immunocompromised,” says Orli’s father Ian Halpern. “And this is a face of immunocompromisation, too. It’s an 11-year-old dancer, as well as the 85-year-old grandparent.”

Watch the video here:


Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in NoMa.