Patient Stories at The Fringe

Two weeks ago we shared news on two patient storytelling events that will take place during this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival.

After a more thorough review of the festival’s listings, we’re pleased to announce that we found three (3) more. With the Fringe opening it’s doors tomorrow we felt it was an appropriate time to list all of the patient performances, whether chronic illness plays a starring role or is simply an undercurrent to the performance’s plot. Healing Through Theatre Host: Brian G. Smith (Second City Alumni) Panel: Zal Press (Patient Commando),  Dr. Jeremy Rezmovitz (Sunnybrook Hospital), Daniel Stolfi (Cancer Can’t Dance Like This)

Eat Poo Love  By: Paul Clement, Evan Mackay, Dan Mackay Cast: Dan Mackay, Evan Mackay, Paul Clement

Paul Clement survived Stage 2 Colon Cancer and went on to blog about it (selected blogs available here), and eventually co-wrote a stage version of the blog which will be performed at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival as “Eat, Poo, Love”.  He recently appeared on the RogersTV program ‘daytime Peel’ to discuss his journey through the illness, and his fundraising work with Colon Cancer Canada.

Mum And The Big C By: Lynne Kamm

Stamped: A Story About Daniel, Who Happens to Have Autism By: Sarah Magni

21 Days By: Tabia Lau, Music by Mary Lougheed

If you know of patient performances that we have [...] continue the story

Congratulations Dear 16 Year Old Me

Canadian produced Melanoma video tops the prestigious Webby Awards The number one patient story of the year, the video “Dear 16 Year Old Me” has set a new standard of storytelling by winning 2 Webby Awards, the leading international awards honouring excellence on the Internet.

The David Cornfield Melanoma Fund production, “Dear 16 Year Old Me”, won for Best Online Video – Public Service and Activism, and for Best Copywriting. It has been seen almost 7 million times, in 150 countries, and in 5 languages. No other patient story in living memory has come close to this level of global impact.

The video is by melanoma patients who, through reflection, tell their 16 year old self some life lessons that can make an important difference in their lives.

It’s a milestone in the history of healthcare when a patient story, told by real patients, outdraws a Hollywood celebrity doctor. It’s a story that can inform practice, change patient behaviour and improve public health.

This film wasn’t supported with a mass media campaign and major sponsors. It won the hearts of millions with an authentic narrative that engages its viewers with its honesty

“Dear 16 Year Old Me” proves that the stories of real people can change [...] continue the story

An open letter to Michael J. Fox

Dear Michael J. Fox,

Your Curb Your Enthusiasm appearances powerfully highlight the challenges and misconceptions those with chronic conditions face on a daily basis.

You’ve shown how one person’s story can make an impact and you have said that we’re given so few chances in this lifetime to make a real difference and change the world.

As you read this letter, millions of people around the world join with you in reading it as well…adding their memorable stories online and sharing with you their experience, living with chronic illness. All of these people are trying to make a difference.

I am asking you to share a simple story with Patient Commando. Maybe one that you might think is insignificant to others, but demonstrates nevertheless, how gritty it gets behind the hospital curtains along with the compliment of hilarity that sometimes is coupled with that experience. The more it is about thoughts and feelings, anxiety or relief, the better.

Together we can amplify the voices of those labelled with chronic condition and overcome what author Chimamanda Adichie coined as “the danger of a single story”: the idea that there’s only one way to tell a story and understand it.

You’ll find people similar to yourself, going online [...] continue the story

Protected: Amplifying The Patient Voice

What is Patient Commando? The source for authentic patient stories. What does Patient Commando do? Apply authentic Patient Experience programming to critical Health Care Issues. How does Patient Commando do this?

Credibility. Authenticity. Influence. Innovation.

Patient Commando programming is accredited by the College of Family Physicians for professional education. What does Patient Commando deliver?

Social Impact

Empowering Patient participation Improved treatment compliance Increased patient safety

Common Language that enables higher impact partnerships

Patient Engagement Stakeholder Engagement


Innovative stakeholder strategies

Who is listening to Patient Commando?

Product Manufacturers System Designers Retailers Educators Researchers Professional Associations Policy Makers

Our Programmes Preview

Monday Mornings Become part of local communities and affect lives on a visceral level. A 3 month program designed to leave participants and their caregivers with a clear, sustainable plan. Laugh Therapy, a proven model to reduce agitation as well as medication but without side effects.

The Innovation: Apply matching funds principle to engage with the community. Med-utainment We turn patient narratives into award winning entertainment and compelling education.

We’ve had to create a new term for it – Med-utainment.

Live stage events Documentary films

Upstaging Cancer – Stolfi Speakers – Patient Experience Speaks Up. Stories That Create Change. Zal on stage/ Simon receiving award / Stolfi sizzle /

  Narrative Training – Laugh Therapy Workshops that enable, teach, and grow. Patient Commando’s creative director, Brian G. Smith, uses Creative Storytelling and Comedic Improvisation to encourage participants to deeply explore their creative spirits, and to release stress. Demonstrating: – [...] continue the story

The Type 2 Diagnosis: Emotions

By Kathy Kastner with Zal Press First, you grieve A diagnosis of Type2 Diabetes means the end of life as you’ve lived it. Adding to the shock is the perception: Type2 is the ‘bad’ diabetes. The one you’ve brought on yourself by your overindulgent lifestyle. Type1 is seen as the ‘good’ diabetes: beyond your control.

Rarely is this the case: Type2 Diabetes is most often ‘written in the genes’, thus confounding even the most diligent of health efforts.

Lori became an advocate as a result of seeing the impact of this condition on her father and nephew, which evolved into her becoming a resource and Opinion Leader.

With a Type2 diagnosis, going through the stages of grief is not uncommon: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and eventually – hopefully – choosing to accept. Anger and denial Even for those in ethnicities at high risk of T2, acceptance of a diagnosis can be devastating. Heather is a nurse and Opinion Leader who, on a whim – and well into her career – decided to test herself: Being as she was in the hospital on the Diabetes unit. That was in 1989.

Aida (who gives an infectious giggle as she explains,’ it’s pronounced like the Opera’) is slim and fit and is [...] continue the story