Thanks to my friend and cancer warrior, Katie O’Dell-Shreve (pictured above), I was invited to give a keynote speech and lead a break-out session at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center for their annual Day of Hope event. My task was to deliver my own special laughter prescription to cancer patients and caregivers.
Katie has been an avid supporter of the Giggle On mission for many years. Her loyalty and support has helped boost me in my moments of doubt. Having Katie by my side to assist and cheer lead at the Day of Hope was truly a gift. Katie, thank you for being the conduit for this opportunity honor the memory of your friend Brian Ware, serve cancer patients, their families and caregivers from both the medical and non-medical setting. Furthermore, thank you for sharing your experience about the Day of Hope and offering lovely words of praise about my work.
Kazoo On, Marshmallow Launcher On, Battle On, and Giggle On! – Love, Christa
From Katie O’Dell-Shreve, President, Cancer *B* Ware
I’ve known Christa Scalies for years and I can honestly say that she truly comes alive when she is in “Giggle On” mode. Christa has made it her personal life mission to bring laughter and healing to others through her work with Giggle On.
Christa has invested thousands of dollars of her own money in providing hundreds of Laffy Laffalot toys, kazoos and laughter yoga to sick children & their families in hospitals throughout the Philadelphia area, especially A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.
Christa believes she has a higher calling to help others, and truly practices what she preaches with Giggle On. Christa graciously donated her time & amazing talents to the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center. I had the privilege of assisting Christa in the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center Day of Hope on November 2, 2013. Cancer patients, caregivers, and center staff were on hand to listen to Christa’s key note speech on the benefits of laughter therapy. Just taking a moment of time and transforming the room into a kazoo and giggle filled ‘laughter-torium’ was a sight (and sound) to behold. Audience members, initially timid and unsure of what to do, began to relax, warm up, look around, smile at each other, loosen up, and most importantly, forget their problems for a moment.
Christa’s breakout session for Stress Less, Laugh More brought a group of 30+ strangers together for an hour of incredible exercises and games, culminating in a Marshmallow Launcher contest. Throughout the session, it was amazing to see the audience members, especially a male breast cancer survivor, come together, be silly, greet each other, and be able to act like carefree children for the first time in a long time for most of them. One woman was particularly enthusiastic with the Marshmallow Launcher contest, where each person was given their own mini-marshmallow launcher. Christa donned a “target box” with ‘worries and stressors’ written on them. Participants were then to launch as many marshmallows at the stressors as they could in 3 minutes to win a prize.
I have not witnessed a group of people so unabashedly joyful and silly in a very long time. Everyone truly enjoyed the experience and were extremely thankful to Christa for providing such great ideas, tools, and ways to lighten their spirit.
I highly recommend Christa Scalies, Chief Laughter Officer, and the amazing work she is doing with Giggle On.
President, Cancer *B* Ware
There’s still a lot of good in the world. Find it! ~ Brian Ware