Hosts of Halifax ‘Sickboy’ podcast spread message that laughter is the best medicine
The hosts of the successful Sickboy podcast held a live show Thursday to raise money for cystic fibrosis research, and celebrate a milestone that one member was never expected to reach.
Friends Jeremie Saunders, Taylor MacGillivary, and Brian Stever founded the podcast in Sept. 2015. The group discuss serious illnesses in a funny yet informative way. They've recorded over 80 episodes, tackling issues such as cancer, PTSD and anorexia.
On Thursday night, they held a special live recording of the podcast in front of a sold-out crowd at Halifax’s Good Robot brewery.
Thursday also marked co-host Jeremie Saunders’ 29th birthday - a big accomplishment considering doctors told his parents he likely wouldn't live to see his 25th birthday.
Saunders is one of more than 4,100 Canadians living with cystic fibrosis, which is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults.
"I’ve always found that finding humour in my situation, living with a chronic terminal illness, is a really amazing form of therapy," says Saunders.
In the past year, Sickboy has gathered a large following and iTunes named it one of the best new podcasts of 2015.
“It's just so much fun to interact with the audience, the laughter that's right there from the audience and the reactions that when we're recording in our studio we don't get," says Sickboy co-host Taylor MacGillivary.
The group has also teamed with Good Robot to brew their own beer – with $1 from every "Cystic Fibrewsis" going to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
"They came in, they brewed it with us, learned a little bit about the brewing process. and we ended up with a beer that is very characteristic of the Sickboy themselves,” says Good Robot co-founder Joshua Counsil. “It's bittersweet, it's unfiltered."
"They’re great financial supporters, but also the awareness they've raised is simply invaluable,” says Lisa Weatherhead of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. “They’ve completely changed the way that people talk about chronic illness, not just in the world of cystic fibrosis, but beyond."
Sickboy have also recorded shows in P.E.I., Toronto and Vancouver, and plan on taking their show on the road in September for a cross-Canada tour.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April