Event media

You are here

Spreading the “Smiling Bug” at Chiba Children’s Hospital, Japan

Robert McNair

Every year at Christmas, our clown therapy team does visitation work at various institutions in our area and the Chiba Children’s Hospital definitely ranks as our favorite. In October the head nurse of the hospital called, asking us to please return this Christmas with our clown therapy team. So on December 17th, we piled all our clowns into vans, and off we went to bring Christmas cheer to hospital rooms filled with happily surprised little eyes and big smiles.

When we arrived we were met by several nurses who greeted us as if we were the most important people in the whole hospital that Christmas. Seeing that there were about 170 children, we split up into two teams. From the moment we stepped out of the elevator onto each floor, wheelchairs came zipping down the halls from every direction, with others on crutches or dragging intravenous bottles following closely behind, because it’s not just every day a clown comes to town!

We kept busy making balloon art and spending time with each child. We were also able to give a copy of our book, The Garden, to each child, (generously sponsored by Activated Ministries) as well as leave 20 copies in 10 reading corners around the hospital.

And children weren’t the only ones that got to smile that day! Many of the mothers also got hit with the “smiling bug”. Some of those mothers have been struggling for sometime to stay positive. Some of the children have been there for months, so we tried to spend time with each mom too.

We then were escorted to a large area where our children and teens’ group sang and danced their happy hearts out for many more children. All in all, it was a wonderful day. We left a smile on every face, and we hope, in every heart. We then waved good bye to a large group of nurses who followed us to the doorway, where we took our leave and drove away, off to infect another institution with some good old smilitis*.

*Smilitis: symptoms may include; laughing, bright happy eyes, relaxation, peace of mind,calming of nerves, emotional relief, and a positive outlook. Children are especially vulnerable. Nurse, doctors and parents are also susceptible.