Cancer group comedy show raises spirits and funding

Posted at 10:22 PM, Nov 14, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - It was the healing power of humor on stage at Art Works on Hull Street in south Richmond Thursday night.

The show was called Here's Laughing at You, Cancer, and it was a fundraiser for the organization LINC--Legal Information Network for Cancer.

Cancer survivors step up to the microphone to talk about some of their darkest moments and laugh; hoping to show patients and their care givers in the audience they can too.

"One cannot miss the humor in how I learned I have cancer,” attorney David Worrell, shared with the audience. The 35-year-prostate cancer survivor talks about the impact—literally--of his diagnosis.

"I was on the Downtown Expressway listening to Willie Nelson and feeling pretty fine," he said.

That’s when Worrell's cell phone rang. It was his doctor with the results of his test. Worrell had cancer.

"Not unexpectedly I drove off the road and hit the only tree on the expressway and knocked myself out,” he recollected. "I’m a survivor of cancer in more ways than one."

Worrell says it's that sense of humor he inherited from his mom, who died from cancer last year, that got him through treatment.

"Humor is wonderful medicine and can be a great cure, maybe."

His sister Linda, a breast cancer survivor, was in the audience. Initially she said there was nothing funny about her disease.

"As time went on my husband and I came up with the best jokes about me that we laugh about still,” she shared. “Laughter is a big part of recovery."

The show was created by a cancer survivor who works for LINC.

Co-creator Crista Whitman Gantz said the idea was to show the strength of the human spirit.

"Part of the healing process is being able to tell their story and laugh about it,” Gantz said. “If that's what works for them."

And this is proof it has worked for them.

"Some people are more fortunate than others in that they see it, appreciate it, and embrace it," Worrell said. "To me humor is healing."

They faced a devastating diagnosis and they're getting the last laugh.

The Coalition Theater participated in the event.