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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Power of Laughter: Gilda Radner's Legacy Lives On

Gilda Radner's 1st Appearance on SNL
               
Gilda Radner (1946 -1989)
Thought for the day: The power of laughter has been proven to be therapeutic to our mental & physical health. Gilda Radner used laughter well & still inspires us. Here's some of what she said about cancer: "Here it is: I had a cyst removed from an ovary & lost ten pounds & kept it off. So tell everyone: chew a lot of gum & have major surgery. " "I grew up in front of television, I guess I’ll grow old inside one." "My life had made me funny, & cancer wasn't going to change that. " Has laughter helped you overcome tough times? Please share a story that may help someone else struggling with illness or a loss.

On Thursday, I will be taking part in a day long event. The morning will begin with a panel that I will be co-moderating with Stacey Battat, editor of a series of inspirational books called, Thin Threads. Our topic is officially Wellness After Grief or Illness, not the easiest topic to address at 10 AM. Stacy & I agreed to focus on resilience. 

Gene Wilder
The evening will include a tribute to Gene Wilder, one of our greatest comediennes. When I spoke with Stacy about the event, we both agreed that adding humor would help the panel present an uplifting & inspirational discussion of a tough topic. Gilda Radner's valiant battle with ovarian cancer leading to Gilda's Club seemed to exemplify how one woman fought back with humor. She outlived her prognosis & left a legacy that lives on. In one of the above quotes she said she would grow old inside a television. She was wrong, she remains young, vibrant & inspirational in videos like her 1st appearance on SNL. She is also still a role model for anyone coping with a serious illness.

I plan to honor Gilda in the morning & look forward to honoring & meeting Gene Wilder in the evening, celebrating his life & accomplishments. I am sure Gilda would be proud of his accomplishments & of how Gilda's Club continues to offer, hope, support & humor to families faced with cancer worldwide.

If you live in the NY, NJ or CT area, there is still time to RSVP for the free (but space is limited) workshops & open house & the gala evening event ($100 donation). For a schedule of the daytime events & to RSVP for either the workshops or the evening gala: www.yerwoodcenter.com/event/wings. For the Stamford Innovation Center's open house from 4 -6 please  RSVP here.

If you do come, please introduce yourself. I'd love to meet you.

What jokes have helped you through a tough time? I'd love to hear your stories.
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