TORONTO — Marla Lukofsky, a standup comedian for 30 years, makes her audience laugh and cry.
Since 2008, she has turned her energy from standup to sharing her journey with breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 1998 at age 42.
She will be speaking at an event sponsored by Life2, a Richmond Hill educational group, April 18 at 8 p.m. at the Rouge Woods Community Centre, located at 119 Shirley Dr. in Richmond Hill.
Lukofsky talks about her experience with humour and pathos, she said, “taking the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions. Their brains start spinning. I give them a lot to think about.”
Single, with “no children that I know about,” she calls her humour self-mocking and witty. She has performed standup across Canada and the United States, and has represented Canada at international comedy festivals in Scotland and England.
She turned her current act into a one-woman show, she said, 10 years after surviving cancer, and after she had written a memoir. “My friend read it and said I should turn it into a speech, so I did.
“It’s funny, it’s sad, and it’s informative. I talk about early diagnosis and screening, and how to talk to someone who has cancer.”
She said that she receives letters from people commending her for her honesty. “One that stands out is from a 17-year-old boy whose aunt had been diagnosed with cancer. He hadn’t been able to talk to her, but after hearing me, he gave her a call.”
Lukofsky said a doctor in India read her story, which was published in a U.S. medical journal, and he asked for a videotape of her reading it.
“He is showing it at a conference. This is a very big deal. It will be broadcast across the world. They want to know my story. The doctors have said that the stories help doctors and patients.”
She said that she feels like she’s making a difference. “I help people feel less alone, and sometimes I even help save lives. My story transcends so many levels. It is really a story about facing a diversity.”
For information or tickets, e-mail Life2@hotmail.ca, or call 416-333-3257.
This article appears in the April 12 print issue of The CJN