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Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Laughed at Cancer

On May 12th I laughed harder than I've laughed in an extremely long time.
What was so funny, might you ask? 

Cancer. Yes, I laughed at Cancer.

Now before you rush to conclude that I am a horrible person, take a few moments to hear me out...

Patient Commando put on its first production two weeks ago inspiring laughter, tears, and rave reviews in the sold-out Glen Goulds Theater.  Daniel Stolfi, writer and sole actor in his one-man show Cancer Can't Dance Like This, dug beneath the stigma of what it means to be a chronic patient and unleashed emotions of the doctors, health care professionals, patients, educators, and others in the room.

Stolfi led the audience through his two-year journey of battling Cancer and enduring chemotherapy. Between the hilarious acts showing us his doctors' office experiences, losing his sex drive, appetite, and strength, he read from the journal he wrote throughout his time of suffering.  It was so real, and so honest, and that's why these shows change people.


It's a good thing we offered drinks and snacks after the show, because people didn't want to leave!  I observed as the members of the audience engaged in conversation with one another about the show; how it affected them, what part resonated with them most, their own stories.  I realized that the change happens in the post-show experience.  Watching the shows themselves sparks the transformation, and the moment people have the opportunity to discuss and relate to their own lives, their perspectives on the chronic patient transform.

When I began working with Patient Commando several months ago I was quite intrigued by the concept, but truthfully, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  The show on May 12th shifted the work I had been doing from concept to reality. It instilled in me this complete faith in the success of Patient Commando I hadn't realized I was missing.  

I am so excited to watch Patient Commando grow, because I believe whole-heartedly in its ability to change the lives of chronic patients, and ultimately the healthcare system in Canada.  Stay tuned for the next show date, and a big congratulations to Daniel Stolfi and Foundar of Patient Commando, Zal Press.




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