I would imagine every person who watches movies has seen the movie Patch Adams at least once. It only tells part of his story and how many good people have supported this 'crazy' man who loves all life more than any authority which would insist on people learning rather than leaning on each other. Learning is not all about the dates or formulae of deceived academics, and yet he excelled in that too.
I suppose if I did not have my own path or cross to bear I would offer to work with one of his present groups, cleaning dishes there would be more useful than making millions doing what most groups, universities, nations and corporations do.
"In his talk he spoke of his mission to bring people back to healing through natural, non-invasive modalities. For example, in his center no person with mental illness has ever been treated with pharmaceuticals. His method involves treating the underlying dissatisfaction with life. He immerses his patients in a community that supports creating love and happiness."
It takes time to make real change but I am disappointed in the fact that his life has not made any great change - just as I am about my own quest. There will be change neither of us get credit for, but the rewards I got in ten years inside a group home or near to it, helping a real community become more whole, doing things like he did on the movie; will probably be the most productive, creative and worthwhile years of my life.
"Did the media attention from the movie help the real Patch Adams' efforts?
No. In an interview with New Renaissance Magazine, the real Patch Adams responded to this question by saying the following, "After the movie, there wasn't a single positive article about our work or me. There were dumb, stupid, meaningless things... it made my children cry. They actually thought that they didn't know the person they were reading about."
Patch admits that he never expected the movie to be a catalyst that would help spread his idea of care to the masses. "I knew the movie would do this," Adams said. "I would become a funny doctor. Imagine how shallow that is relative to who I am." Patch had dreamed that the film might help him to raise enough money to build a 40-bed hospital on 310 acres of land in Pocohontas County, West Virginia. In the least, he had hoped that the release of the movie would have raised some awareness to what he is doing, which includes being on the road 300 days out of the year, giving as many as eleven lectures a day and visiting the sick all over the world, in countries such as Russia, Bosnia, Cuba, and Afghanistan.
Did allowing the movie to be made help Patch's cause at all?
The real Patch Adams didn't receive much money for the rights to his story. Universal Pictures did however give Patch's Gesundheit Institute a grant to establish a fundraising infrastructure. This included the services of a professional fundraiser for a period of time.
Was Patch happy with Robin Williams' performance in the movie?
In a CNN interview, Patch said the following, "I think Robin himself is compassion, generosity and funny. I like to think that that's who I am, and so I think he was the only actor I wanted to play me, and I think he did a fabulous job, and my friends around the country are feeling that he gives that basic message." Pictured at left is Robin Williams laughing with the real-life Hunter 'Patch' Adams.
Is Patch's girlfriend in the movie based on a real person?
No. In the movie, Patch's girlfriend is a fellow med student by the name of Corinne Fisher (Monica Potter). Corinne, who dies at the end of the film, is only very loosely based on Patch's real life wife Lynda, who Patch did meet at medical school like in the movie.
As the real Patch Adams explained in an interview, certain aspects of his real life romance with his wife Lynda were injected into the film. This includes the room-full-of-balloons scene. "I filled my apartment with balloons from floor to ceiling. With twenty or so people in the room, no one could see anybody else, but whenever one person moved, everybody could feel it. It was a circus of sensations. She went back to the dorm and told her friends; "I just had the strangest date of my life. I think I'm going to marry this guy." Lynda and Patch were married in 1972 and have two sons."
Last edited by R_Baird; 03-01-2016 at 04:43 PM.
What Patch has done continues to grow and I hope his legacy will last in human history alongside the truly great people like Albert Einstein who was an activist in many humanistic endeavors including a lifelong effort to end standing armies.
"Posted on August 16, 2013, by Marissa Kokkoros, Aura Freedom
When Marissa Kokkoros began reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide she had no idea of the journey she was embarking on – a journey that would send her from Italy to India and Nepal, through the Himalayas, and finally back to her home in Canada to start her own nonprofit aimed at fighting slavery and oppression worldwide. In her own words, here’s how the book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn sent Marissa, 34, on the journey of a lifetime:
I am a former English teacher and volunteer humanitarian clown with the Patch Adams organization, which is where I met my husband, Marco. Together, we have travelled the world with the Patch Adams group, offering love, laughter and hope to the poor, the sick and the oppressed. But from a very young age, the plight of women and girls struck a cord deep within me and I knew there was something more I wanted to do, I just didn’t know what… until a good friend of mine put Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide in my hands.
I read the book in chunks, having to put it down from time to time, unable to digest the atrocities faced by these women… these GIRLS. I trekked through the pages, horrified and inspired at the same time. All the while, Marco comforted me as my tears soaked the pages and my dreams filled with the faces of these ‘faceless’ women and girls. Then it was Marco’s turn to read and it was me who comforted him when his disbelief turned to shock. We celebrated every triumphant story together, toasting to women like Urmi Basu at dinnertime.
About a year after reading the book, I looked at Marco and said: “I'm going to India and Nepal.” And he said, “Yes, I know.” We both realized this book was more than an inspiration …this was my CALLING. I realized that there was only one thing I could do to face this problem: UNDERSTAND it. The terrors of sexual slavery and human trafficking especially called out to me, and so we planned our own ‘field trip’ to India and Nepal, armed only with the book, my passion, and each other.
We contacted Urmi Basu at New Light, explaining that we wanted to come and meet these girls, that we wanted to learn, and that we wanted them to know that somebody cared. I found it hard to fathom what we could accomplish there, but what I did know was that we at least had to GO.
It was then that ‘destiny’ started playing some pretty amazing tricks on us. Strangely, at the same time that we were planning our field trip, we heard that some of our Patch Adams colleagues were organizing a clown tour in Nepal and that they were planning to visit different homes for women and girls, including a 7-day Himalayan trek to a village in the Langtang region, a high-risk zone for sex trafficking. And so, of course, I looked at Marco and told him to get our clown noses out.
We packed two backpacks and left on February 14, 2013.
Our first stop was Kolkata, India, where we volunteered for three weeks with the children of New Light. Urmi Basu and her team welcomed us with open arms and an open door. We spent time with the children every afternoon, visited their Dalit centre and danced with the girls at Soma Home. It was magical.
We next headed to Kathmandu, Nepal, where we had a week to ourselves before the clowning started. By chance, we ended up at Maiti Nepal, which helps survivors of trafficking, on Visitor’s Day and I ended up teaching English lessons to the same girls I had been dreaming about not even a year before.
After Maiti Nepal, we met up with the clowns and started our Himalayan clown tour.
Marissa and members of the Patch Adams Clown Troupe clown around with children in the Himalayas. (Photo courtesy Italo Bertolasi -- Clown One Italia Onlus.)
We spent seven days in a village with no electricity and no hot water, going from house to house, clowning in a local school, and getting to know some of the most inspiring women I have ever met. I met women who were tilling soil in extreme conditions with babies strapped to their backs. I met pregnant women with no maternal care, and little help. I spent my days with them, in their homes, in their fields, playing with their children.
Marissa works with children in the Himalayas. (Photos courtesy Italo Bertolasi -- Clown One Italia Onlus.)
When it was time to return home I knew that my life could never be the same. I had found my calling. I had to continue to help these women and girls.
This was the beginning of my life, and the best part was my husband was behind me 100 percent. I came back home to Canada where I created Aura Freedom International, a Canadian nonprofit. I have started projects with New Light and Apeiron. But the best news is that Anuradha Koirala and Maiti Nepal will be coming to Toronto on September 29, 2013 as our guests for a fundraiser.
So here we are, only two years after reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, back in Canada and organizing an event for Maiti Nepal! It has already been the journey of a lifetime, and it is only beginning.
Check out Aura Freedom to learn more about their work with Maiti Nepal and New Light, donate to their fundraiser, and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter."
Last edited by R_Baird; 03-06-2016 at 03:33 PM.
Maybe Patch Adams could add some historical insights to his website adding some reasons why the medical profession had to remove natural healers, homeopaths and those who understood laughter helps people heal from their target market or money-making effort. It began around the time we saw an end to barber surgeons and drugs like Laudanum still being pushed by the newly founded Medical Associations. They graciously also offered to include the Homeopaths or Naturopaths in their new group - as long as these real healers stopped doing things which might not fit the doctor's agendas.
Some priests were doing bloodletting as part of the exorcisms or sins and demons dogma before a Pope stopped it around the time of the Cathar crusade and institution of autos da fe and heresy trials. Your barber poles tell part of this story.
"The barber pole’s colors are a legacy of a (thankfully) long-gone era when people went to barbers not just for a haircut or shave but also for bloodletting and other medical procedures. During the Middle Ages bloodletting, which involves cutting open a vein and allowing blood to drain, was a common treatment for a wide range of maladies, from sore throat to plague. Monks, who often cared for the sick, performed the procedure, and barbers, given their skill with sharp instruments, sometimes provided assistance. After Pope Alexander III in 1163 prohibited clergymen from carrying out the procedure, barbers added bloodletting—something physicians of the day considered necessary but too menial to do themselves–to their repertoires. Known as barber-surgeons, they also took on such tasks as pulling teeth, setting bones and treating wounds. Ambroise Pare, a 16th-century Frenchman considered the father of modern surgery, started his career as a barber-surgeon.
The look of the barber pole is linked to bloodletting, with red representing blood and white representing the bandages used to stem the bleeding. The pole itself is said to symbolize the stick that a patient squeezed to make the veins in his arm stand out more prominently for the procedure. In Europe, barber poles traditionally are red and white, while in America, the poles are red, white and blue. One theory holds that blue is symbolic of the veins cut during bloodletting, while another interpretation suggests blue was added to the pole as a show of patriotism and a nod to the nation’s flag.
By the mid-1500s, English barbers were banned from providing surgical treatments, although they could continue extracting teeth. Both barbers and surgeons, however, remained part of the same trade guild until 1745. While bloodletting largely fell out of favor with the medical community in the 19th century, it’s still used today to treat a small number of conditions."
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