WHEN a Ringwood East boy first dreamt of a laughter house for sick kids, he never imagined his hero Jerry Lewis would help make it possible.
Lochie Graham, 12, wants to develop a program of healing by bringing laughter to children with chronic illnesses.
It all started when Lochie, then 6, was asked by his mum Louise Schultze what made children happy.
Lochie’s answer was simple — laughter.
He drew up rough plans for a laughter house, full of trampolines and movie screens, and years later, Ms Schultz, who worked for a charity at the time, stumbled across someone who knew Jerry Lewis and they got in touch.
Now an entire charity has been founded on the idea.
Jerry’s House, run by Hope 2Day, will become a place where the most vulnerable and traumatised children can go.
They will be taught the powers of comedy and humour to change their perspective and heal themselves and the world around them.
It’s expected to open in Australia in coming years and the idea of laughter therapy will also be rolled out in hospitals and rehab centres across the world.
Lochie said his life revolved around bringing joy to others, which was why Jerry’s House was so important.
He said he was just six-years-old when he first met with the iconic comedian and they’ve been working to make it happen ever since.
“I’ve met with Jerry four times now which is absolutely amazing because he’s my hero,” Lochie said.
“The idea has stuck with me for a long time now too ... and it’s really important because everything I do is about laughter.
“You can change someone’s whole day just by getting them to laugh.”
Ms Schultze said the story showed what extraordinary things can happen when adults listen to children.
“This has helped open a lot of other people’s eyes and the world is pretty sad right now, but we want to focus on the power of laughter.”