Tiago and Daiana Leifert’s Fight Against Childhood Cancer: A Campaign for Awareness

Tiago Leifert, a nationally acclaimed Brazilian journalist and presenter, and his family have embarked on a remarkable journey to raise awareness about a condition that impacts children across Brazil – retinoblastoma. In a conversation with KnowTheGlow Co-Founder Megan Webber, Tiago shared the story of his daughter Lua’s battle with this rare eye cancer and their ever increasing efforts to spread awareness.

Lua’s diagnosis and the journey that followed marked a turning point for the Leifert family. Initially choosing to keep Lua’s condition private, Tiago and his wife Daiana, also a journalist, eventually realized the importance of speaking out to raise awareness. In January of 2022, they made a courageous decision to share their story with the public, sparking a nationwide campaign to educate people about retinoblastoma.

With the support of the Ogilvy advertising agency, Tiago and Daiana launched the “Keep an Eye on the Little Eyes” campaign, “De Olho nos Olhinhos” in Portuguese. Starting with a small event in September 2022, the campaign has since gained momentum, resulting in a larger scale event in 2023 and an even larger campaign planned for this year. Their strategy includes physical events at shopping malls, TV appearances, social media video messaging, and showcasing messages on big screens, and through fliers and Instagram filters and any number of media channels to help spread the word.

The main objective of the campaign is to encourage parents to prioritize their children’s eye health by visiting an ophthalmologist at least once a year. Tiago emphasizes the importance of annual checkups, even if no symptoms are present, as early detection can save lives.  The awareness they’ve created has already led to multiple children being diagnosed and treated and that has created great hope for the possibilities of the future.

Beyond raising awareness, Tiago and Daiana are advocating for policy changes to improve access to healthcare for children with retinoblastoma and other eye diseases. They have developed a close relationship with several medical organizations, like the Federal Council of Medicine, to push for faster diagnosis protocols and better support for affected families in an effort to ease the enormous challenges and complexities of Brazil’s healthcare system. In April of 2024 the couple officially created an NGO that shares the name of their national campaign. The NGO helps connect patients with Cancer Hospitals, including travel arrangements and emotional support.  

Through this year’s collaboration with KnowTheGlow, Tiago and Team Brazil have partnered with KTG creating images and messaging that are co-branded with the “De olho nos olhinhos” logo and which are already reaching the national audience of Brazil with messages in English and Portuguese.

Looking ahead, Tiago, KTG, and Team Brazil are exploring innovative avenues such as TikTok and WhatsApp to expand the campaign’s reach. Their ultimate goal is to not only transform the landscape of childhood cancer awareness in Brazil but also to collaborate with other governments to tackle this issue globally.

As Tiago and Daiana continue to advocate for change, they draw strength from Lua’s resilience and the unwavering support of his community. With each new initiative and partnership, they move closer to their vision of a world where every child has access to life-saving healthcare.

In the face of adversity, the Leifert family stands as a beacon of hope, leading the charge in the fight against childhood cancer with unwavering determination and boundless compassion.  At KTG, we are proud to stand beside him and the incredible team of doctors, professionals, and volunteers supporting the effort!