Since our very first visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital back in 1994, our Giggle Doctors have brought joy and laughter to thousands of children during their treatment in hospitals, hospices, and specialist care centres.
Theodora Children’s Charity was founded by two brothers André and Jan, in memory of their mother Théodora Poulie.
Following a severe accident, André spent many months of his youth inside a hospital, undergoing 14 operations over the span of 2 years. Théodora transformed his painful experience by bringing games, songs, and stories to his bedside through her daily visits. Her presence helped André during his stay, and her positive energy from those brief visiting hours spread and remained, affecting the other kids in the ward as well.
Before the first visits from the Giggle Doctors, André visited the hospital where he spent most of his months back when he was a boy and spoke to the surgeon who operated on him. He easily convinced an oncologist, Dr Beck, who saw the psychological benefits of joy and laughter in children’s cancer treatment. Afterwards, they recruited the first Giggle Doctors who would eventually go on to visit children in the Great Ormond Street Hospital on Théodora’s birthday in April 1994. Now, our Giggle Doctors bring laughter to thousands of children across the country receiving medical treatment.
We hope you enjoy reading about our history and the significant moments that have helped shape the Theodora Children’s Charity today.
Around 20 years between these two photos, and yet you wouldn't be able to tell if one of them wasn't in black and white! Good to see that our Giggle Doctors' energy and ability to make us laugh is timeless!