Golisano Children’s Hospital: A Day to Remember
By Mina Liccione
After many months of planning, emails, meetings and approvals, I was thrilled to finally start our outreach Hospital Humor Program at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Though I reside in Dubai, I return to New York throughout the year and will make regular visits during each trip.
The day started out with a creative workshop with a group of young inpatients, some parents, and interns, in the colorful communal activity room. I entered the space and introduced myself as “Dr. Mina La-la-lee-lee-lu-lu-shnee-nee-pssst.” I then explained that “some doctors specialize in feet, some in the spine, but I specialize in the funny bone! And today I am going to make sure your funny bones are healthy!”
We then did a series of rhythm and funny face exercises, improv’ comedy games and circus skills. I ended the workshop with a solo physical comedy, song and tap dance performance dedicated to the children. I gave them all big hugs while joyfully saying “the next time I come back to the hospital I don’t want to see you! I’d rather come visit you at your home instead and we’ll play there!”
Then it was time to make clown rounds to the rooms of those who couldn’t come to the workshop. I had the great privilege of meeting, and sharing laughs, with many young patients. My heart was heavy as their smiles grew. In those moments life made sense. The reason why I am a comedian, and an artist, made sense. I felt my higher purpose thrive every time a tiny giggle emerged. We often forget just how much of an impact we can have on others. Something as small as making someone laugh, telling a story with funny character voices, singing a lullaby or putting on clown noses and pretend to sneeze is just what the doctor ordered!
Spirits were raised.
Laughs were shared.
Friendships were made.
It is in moments like this that life makes sense. A moment of clarity, when you are living your higher purpose and helping someone through a painful time. It was an honor to spend this precious time with the patients and their families.
I can’t wait until my next trip to New York!