They say laughter is good for the mind, body and soul and I believe it. In 2009 I was invited to go to the LOL comedy night as a fund raiser for Breast Cancer. A group of us bought a bunch of tickets and readied ourselves for an evening of much needed laughter. As I was getting ready to go out, I was deciding between which of the 3 wigs I should wear for the big night. You see, I was in the middle of chemotherapy myself for Breast Cancer. As the night was all about pink…I chose my pink wig to fit in. We all loved the evening and were in awe of all the work that goes into such an incredible night. I realized that I too wanted to make a difference. Although I was not in a position to walk in 2009, I decided to sign up for the walk in 2010. Believe it or not, I was not only walking for those past, current and future breast cancer survivors; I was walking for my dear friend Chris who is one of the amazing people putting together the LOL night. I wanted to walk with Chris to support her endeavours. As soon as I said I was going to walk, friends and family joined in and all of a sudden we had a team put together.
We are known as "Gillian's Jugs" and because we had so much fun walking last year, we're doing the 2 day walk for 2011. I would be honoured if you would join in and walk this year. Cancer stinks and we need everyone to get out there and do their thing. Trust me, it will change you forever. Feel free to visit my walking page to learn more about my story and see the awesome photo of my family.
I have attended all of the LOL events. The tears and laughter that are seen and heard are incredible. The stories of courage, sadness, inspiration and dedication are overwhelming. I can't think of a better venue then a room full of women. The strength and energy is amazing. This will be my third year doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer with my husband Peter (KPMG) and our close friends. Peter is captain of team KPMG "Ridin Survivin" and head motivator for all of us. The Toronto team has grown to almost 100 riders. All of us have had some experience with cancer through parents or friends. My dad lost his battle to cancer in 2001, but helping take care of him at home with my family is something that I will never forget. I want to make a difference to helping stop this terrible disease. You can visit a Youtube video about our team at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie80GILm1gQ
What better way to celebrate life than by laughing…. It's the ultimate way to "take cancer down"… it reduces us all to tears so many times, now let's just get together and laugh instead and celebrate life and hope.
The LOL evening is a fabulous event to attend, it's the perfect combination of a serious cause and a fun filled event. It's also been a springboard evening for so many people. When they hear the stories of courage and resolve and then feel the power of so many in a room together.. achieving so much… it seems like the perfect moment to sign up to ride or walk and make something happen. I was inspired by the event last year and went on to do the ride and the walk and didn't regret a minute of either. The sense of accomplishment was phenomenal and there is something really special about being part of a bigger force for good and knowing that you're making a difference and helping to create a safer future for your loved ones.
Ladies out Laughing is a fantastic night of celebration, especially since I am so lucky to rejoice in being a survivor. It's the greatest thrill to be sharing this night with my daughters and friends where all of us are having so much fun. Laughter is great medicine, and every woman goes home feeling so uplifted by the joy we have shared, and inspired by the impact the proceeds of the evening will make to the lives of so many women who are bravely fighting this disease. We can hardly wait till April 14th.
Veronica Van Rooyen
I feel so honoured to be even a small part of Ladies Out Laughing this year. I know the saying: "Laughter is the best medicine," is used so often - but it's true! Really. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, I had a friend who took me to a comedy show shortly after my surgery and just before my treatments. I laughed so hard - and surprised myself. I could still laugh, even after so many tears! Then there was the friend from Montreal, who called everyday to help me laugh at my bald chemo head or the body that was changing before my eyes. By spewing dark humour, she made me feel less worried. Hey, she could laugh, so it couldn't be that serious, right? Now, I never really forgot how serious breast cancer was, but for a moment I could laugh at my enemy. That's what LOL is doing: We're laughing at our enemy - in a huge way! By this wonderful night, LOL will raise crucial funds for research into women's cancers.
A year ago, I did a music video to "These Boots Are Made For Walking" to support The Weekend to End Women's Cancers. I felt empowered as the participants in the video, many who were cancer survivors, literally "walked" all over cancer to this strong anthem. So, first walking, now laughing. Next? Conquering!! You can visit the music video on YouTube at:
The amazing ladies organizing this event are so passionate about the cause, it's contagious!
Having had a great time at their past events, I was thrilled to be asked to be their sponsor so that they could make the next event bigger, better and raise more funds. That one night out raised $30,000. Although the moving stories brought a tear to our eyes, there were tears of laughter to follow. It was such an incredible evening, you couldn't keep me away from the next one!