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Kristen is like a lot of teenagers; she doesn't necessarily know what she wants to do with the rest of her life but she does know that she at least has a purpose. In her mind her purpose is to make people laugh. This is what brings her joy, watching the joy of others. While she's in high school she starts working at a hospital in the unit that deals with sick children. What started out as a community service assignment in her theater class turned into her career, she works as a comic of sorts she- is a clown. She puts on her full costume and her red nose and she performs for sick children in the hospital. What started out as something fun for her to do turned into quite an enterprise when other hospitals around the country and eventually the world wanted to copy exactly what she was doing to bring joy to the sick children in their hospitals. But for Kristen the real love came in a child with leukemia named Shane. Kristen had been connected to Shane the first time he beat his cancer and was there for him when it came back a second time. It is this relationship, this bond that made her feel like she had a little brother in him and he had a big sister in her. It was this relationship that took her from being just someone who performed for children into someone who children depended on. As Shane prepares for one of the most challenging procedures of his young life, the only person he wants next to him is Kristen. His ask is simple, that before he goes into surgery, he truly just wants her to make him laugh. Kristen is able to support him and his parents realizing that the best way to make Shane laugh is for him to pass that laughter on to others. This is a story about the joy that one person gets by making others happy. The only thing that some people want to do in life is to make em laugh.

Make 'em Laugh

  • My favorite thing to do when I was a kid was to go to the carnival. It had nothing to do with the rides, the cotton candy or any of the super cheesy games that were clearly set up for us to lose, sorry if you didn’t know that. My love for the carnival had to do with the funhouse. For most kids my age the funhouse was terrifying. The mirrors that made you look taller, shorter, or fatter than you really were, terrifying. The way that the floor would shake not because it was intended to but because everything in the carnival is portable but that just added to how much it scared me. No, for me the highlight of the funhouse was a room full of clowns. I don't know how clowns got such a bad reputation but I love them! I think clowns are the coolest creation that God ever put on this earth. When I look at a clown, I laugh, I want to thump his red nose, and I want to try my best to run in those big shoes and I've always wanted to do clown makeup. It also connects me to my grandfather who died before I was even born, he was a clown. Just a regular birthday clown that parents would call to make their kids birthday parties more fun. My dad said that he did the best tricks and he could always make him laugh. Maybe that's where I got my personality from? Because before I even knew who my grandfather was or what he did I loved to make people laugh.

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