O, The Oprah Magazine | From the July 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Saranne keeps moving, keeps laughing. This fall she'll host a day of laughter for up to 3,100 children who lost a parent or caregiver on 9/11. But she recognizes only too well that reconciling yourself to loss is a process. "First you have to mourn what happened. Then you can give pain the freedom to leave. It's hard to find your laughter until you've found your pain."
In 2001 two suspicious nodes appeared in Saranne's neck. Western medicine, she decided, was not the only option. "In my system," she says, "chemo is Kool-Aid."
Everywhere she went, Saranne stood up and asked, "Can anyone get me an appointment with the Dalai Lama's doctor?"
One morning the phone rang. It was a woman who'd heard about Saranne from their mutual hairdresser. "You have an appointment at 1 p.m. on Monday with the Dalai Lama's doctor," she said.
"A modest little man in a saffron robe examined me," Saranne says. "He took my pulse. He gave me herbs for tea. 'You are very well,' he said. 'In three months, your scans will show shrinkage.'"
Today Saranne has no visible sign of disease. "I think the whole universe is conspiring to give me an incredible journey," she says. "Comedy Cures can't expand fast enough to meet the need. Time is the greatest gift—to have enough time to serve as many people as I'm supposed to serve. I'm a poster child for spunk."
For spunk. And for invention, moxie, and resilience.