A Note From Saranne, Our Founder


"Nothing seemed very funny February 5th, 1999. It was the evening my funny bone broke.  I was a single mom with a beautiful six year old daughter and I just been told I had Stage IV cancer.  Looking at my daughter I realized the future I had always dreamed about had suddenly been obscured, replaced by the harsh realities of the here and now.  And in the here and now there was no room for humor.  I could almost hear my funny bone crack.

"When your future is suddenly replaced by a rigid scale of cold probabilities, there is an initial tendency to let the momentum of the event carry you along, you can easily become an automaton, after all there's a legion of medical caregivers setting appointments and driving your schedule based on their schedule; in a sense you really have lost control of life.  It's easy to believe that the statistics are some kind of ironclad rule and that the odds apply to everyone, and if that's the case there's too much to worry about and pausing to laugh can seem presumptuous.  Having fun becomes forced for the sake of your children, your family, your friends.

"All of us have to remember that statistical probabilities are reflections of the past and don't have any bearing on the future.  We are complex creatures and when faced with complex diseases there are many things that can effect the outcome: good health care, a good diet, good self-discipline, and a positive attitude are just a few of the many variables that impact the course of the disease.  The probability we all crave when we ask the doctor "What are my chances?" is not one of them.

"We are taught early that 'laughter is the best medicine,' but it's easy to forget in the face of such a devastating diagnosis.  I had forgotten it completely and the way I came around to remembering it was serendipitous or perhaps part of a bigger plan.  I had settled into the oversized, thickly padded chair used when administering chemotherapy.  I was scared as this was my first treatment.  The nurse had finished prepping the woman next to me and begun work to place my IV when she paused and said she was going to listen to the punchline.  What?  I was so within myself that I hadn't even realized a TV was mounted on the wall and a famous comedian was performing a routine.  I thought to myself, "Well, I guess comedy beats cancer," at least regarding the priority of hearing a joke versus starting my chemo, but the thought kept recurring throughout the session, and I began to understand the truth of the statement.  The nurse needed humor to keep the stress of steady stream of very ill patients at bay.  We patients needed humor to nurture that positive attitude that can effect the outcome.  And our families and friends needed it because they needed us, all of us; they didn't need to lose us in bits and pieces.  There goes her independence.  There goes her ambition.  There goes her sense of humor.

"That was the moment ComedyCures was born, and it's been a wonderful force in over a million lives ever since."

Saranne Rothberg is a stage IV cancer survivor, with no visible disease, and is a world-renowned mind/body and therapeutic humor/laughter expert. Saranne resides in Bergen County, New Jersey but travels worldwide for ComedyCures' programs. These award-winning programs are made possible by the hundreds of talented comedians and performers who collaborate with Saranne and our dedicated ComedyCures' staff.

Saranne is honored to have her story documented by Dr. Kelly Turner in her ground breaking book "Radical Remission" which ranked #10 of all hardcover books sold on Amazon the first night it was published.

Saranne has also shared her expertise on NBC, ABC, CBS, and PBS and in many major publications like The New York Times, O Magazine, Ladies Home Journal and more. Saranne has won major humanitarian awards and recognitions from New York City, Komen, Rotary, Hadassah, UJA, AOL, Yoplait, Mastercard, Volkswagon, and many more.

For a detailed, one page description of the history of the ComedyCures Foundation, click here.

The ComedyCures Foundation is a 501(c)3 fully tax exempt non-profit organization (Tax ID #223661833).  Your donations are 100% tax-deductible.