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Why cancer is a laughing matter

People do not normally associate cancer with laughter, but comedian and cancer patient David Downs has done just that with his charity comedy show called For a Limited Time on Friday, May 10th in Auckland.

"This is perhaps the only event in New Zealand’s history where punters get a discount on their ticket if they have blood cancer. Cancer does have its advantages, " laughs comedian and cancer survivor David Downs.

David is generously donating all proceeds from ticket sales for his show on May 10th to Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).

"Laughter is the best medicine, and that’s why I’m going to the show. Also to show my gratitude for the amazing people at LBC who helped me through my own cancer journey," says Kerry Bisley from Otorohanga who is driving to Auckland to attend the show.

Kerry shares a similar life-path to comedian David Downs. They are hilariously funny men with infectious laughs. They are both survivors of blood cancer and use humour as a coping mechanism to deal with their cancer. They are also proud supporters of LBC, the charity that gave them emotional and practical support after their diagnosis.

"It is easy to become consumed by a cancer diagnosis. But I didn’t let that happen, my sense of humour is a gift, and it got me through some tough times when going through chemotherapy. I reckon chemo is a bit like going on rides in Disneyland with your eyes closed and without reading the terms and conditions," says comedian David Downs.

Medical staff at Waikato hospital were constantly entertained by Kerry’s comical view of the cancer that almost took his life.

"The doctor took an hour to explain the complicated medical procedure for my stem cell transplant. There were many risks, and it was a 3-month stint in hospital. He invited me to ask questions. But I only had one - can I bring my coffee machine into hospital? Anyone that has tasted hospital coffee would understand that.

The doctor questioned whether I was taking my cancer seriously enough, but It was me who had the last laugh. I credit my miraculous recovery, in part, to the fact I was constantly making jokes, and I could laugh at myself and my illness. The belive the body has an amazing ability to regenerate when the mind is happy," says Kerry.

David Downs is a survivor of lymphoma and Kerry of myeloma. If laughter is the best medicine then it has certainly worked for these two men, they are both in remission now and living each day to the fullest.

Money raised from the show on May 10th will go towards emotional and practical support for blood cancer patients - as well as education, patient advocacy and investment in research to find a cure for blood cancer.

You can help support New Zealanders living with blood cancer while having a good old laugh at the same time by buying a ticket to For a Limited Time from Ticketmaster on the evening of May 10th here .

Show starts at 7pm, tickets are $35 or $25 if you have a blood cancer such as leukaemia, myeloma or lymphoma.

About - For a Limited Time

Shaves don’t come any closer than they have for comedians David Downs and Willy de Wit. Both have sidled up to death, given it a slap on the bum and survived to tell the tale. Two years ago David Downs was diagnosed with what he called ‘A Mild Case of Cancer’ .

David’s friend, television and radio personality Willy de Wit, had a few problems of his own. He suffered a massive stroke in 2016, had to be resuscitated twice in the hospital, lost the use of his left arm and leg and was struggling to speak.

Pretty bleak stuff but both were determined to beat the odds. They made a pact to put on a show about their experiences should they survive, and fortunately for anyone who likes a happy ending, here they are.

They’ll be joined on stage by actress Emma Lange who auditioned for the show by getting a brain tumour. ‘We thought it was a bit extreme,’ said David, ‘but anyone who shows that sort of dedication to a role deserves the part’.

For A Limited Time is a genuinely funny, surprisingly uplifting and not-so-serious look at serious illness.

"They’re a hilarious company." - New Zealand Herald.

"He really shouldn’t be doing this." - Willy’s Doctor.

"I’ve never heard of either of them." - Anyone under the age of 35.

Check out the video promo for For a Limited Time:

About - Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand

Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC) is the national charity dedicated to supporting patients and their families living with blood cancers and related blood conditions. . LBC does not receive any government funding.

Key facts about blood cancers

- Every day six people in New Zealand are diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. That is one person every four hours.

- Based on Ministry of Health data close to 21,000 people are living with blood cancers in New Zealand.

- Blood cancers are the fifth most common form of cancer in New Zealand

One or more of these symptoms may indicate blood cancer. The symptoms usually present as a cluster, if you are concerned visit your GP:

Persistent fatigue Regular and frequent fevers Unexplained weight loss Repeat Infections Itchy skin Anaemia Bone pain Excessive night sweats Swollen lymph nodes


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