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“How Robin Williams portraying “Patch Adams” showed me that making children laugh is a gift” by Sherri Rosen

I saw the film “Patch Adams” in 1998. The film is about a quirky and unconventional doctor, Dr. Hunter “Patch Adams” who created the book
“Gesundheit:Health is a Laughing Matter” and a teaching center and clinic, The Gesundheit Institute in West Virginia.

Prior to seeing the film, I had gone for an interview to volunteer working with children who had cancer in a huge and powerful hospital in NYC.
The first interview with the head of volunteers, I realized that I knew from a spiritual community that we both belonged to. Knowing that, I was much
more relaxed in the interview and he went over all of the duties expected of me and told me that I would have to go into their training program. Basically
giving me a rundown and then told me to come back in two weeks and I would be infiltrated into their volunteer program.

In the past I had always prided myself in having a wonderful connection with children of any age and I still do to this day. The children and i have this
wonderful heart connection, which Robin Williams portraying “Patch Adams” in the film showed me watching the film. I was so touched by Patch’s unorthodox
ways working with children who were seriously ill, getting them excited and showing them the gift of life, love and laughter. Who best to play that
role than Robin Williams, a most unorthodox and delightful genius of a man with a great big heart.

It showed one scene in the film when Patch comes into the children’s ward and all of the children were just lying in bed, just looking into space, either attached
to some sort of drip or sleeping. Patch/Robin walks into their room dressed as a clown, with a great big red nose, and he starts joking with the children and
the next thing you know the entire ward is filled with laughter and excitement!

2 weeks later I go back to the head of volunteer’s office at this huge cancer hospital in NYC, wait awhile for him to see me. He comes out of his office
and escorts me in, tells me to “have a seat” and then looks at me and says “Sherri, you are not the right type to be with the children. You will scare them
with your big energy and I feel you should volunteer in another part of the hospital.” And I believed him! I left his office feeling like I was a piece of sh*t!
Thinking, “yes he’s right. I have this big energy and I of course would scare the children.” No faith in myself whatsoever!! I was so sad.

A few years later the film “Patch Adams” came out with Robin Williams and I went to see it and I was amazed. While viewing the film I witnessed so much heart,
so much love, so much aliveness, and the children were getting healed, maybe not to a point where the cancer disappeared, but Patch was making them happy
and making them laugh. I so connected with him because I realized that I too could make people/children laugh, make them happy, be totally outrageous,
and the children always loved it!!! I remember going to a town pool I lived near in NJ wearing all different colors of polish or my nails and toenails and the kids
went nuts when they saw me. Nuts in a good way. They just loved looking at my toes and nails on my hands!!! I walked out of that film a whole different person.
I realized that I had been given a gift! And that the head of volunteers was speaking on behalf of the children when we said I would intimidate them, he was probably
talking about himself!!

Who else could have played that role but Robin Williams. Both Robin and Patch Adams have taught me to have faith in who I am and that the making people
laugh is a gift. God Bless!

Robin Williams and Patch Adams

Robin Williams and Patch Adams

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 9:49 am and is filed under Clients, Friends and Colleagues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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