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Big Apple Circus Clown Care Uses Laughter as Medicine

Volunteers make hospital rounds to lift kids’ spirits

Dr. JJ and Dr. Baldy are not your typical MDs. They don’t fight disease or operate on vital organs. Instead, they treat a part of the body that can easily be overlooked at pediatric hospitals: the spirit.


The two start their day differently than most people who work at the Children's National Medical Center. Rather than slipping into scrubs and looking over medical charts, these two healers are smearing on colorful makeup and donning ruby red noses. They are clowns…and they spend their days making “clown rounds” to boys and girls who yearn for a healthy dose of laughter and play. They are just two of the 80 committed and talented clowns who visit sick children at hospitals across the country.
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