Mollypenny is a therapeutic clown who brings joy, laughter and a bit of magic to children receiving care at CHEO. A hospital stay can be a stressful situation for anyone – particularly young patients – and Mollypenny spends three days every week offering comfort, moral support and a terrific sense of fun to courageous CHEO kids and their families whom she visits throughout the hospital.
Mollypenny helps normalize the hospital environment, and even occasionally takes a “clown in training” along with her to do her rounds for a day (kid clown suit included). This commitment to the emotional health of children who are going through tough times – and the humour, positive energy and affection she spreads throughout the hospital – make Mollypenny one of #150GreatPeople in Ottawa. Here, she answers the questionnaire:
What makes Ottawa special to you?
The Kids. Kids make our city fun. My world revolves around kids and the joy they bring to our lives and the joy that I try to bring to their lives while they undergo their medical journey. I have met thousands of kids and their amazing families and caregivers in my years in this city and each and everyone of them is special. We all start out as kids and then grow into adults, so when you think about it, if Ottawa wasn’t made up of amazing kids, then it wouldn’t have all the amazing adults that it has today.
What do you love most about living and working in Ottawa?
Ottawa is a caring place. I see many acts of kindness every day in my travels throughout the hospital. I see people at CHEO-OCTC always working as a team to give our patients the best possible care. I also see this in our community where folks regularly go the extra mile to help not only kids, but their families. This touches me enormously.
The work that you do helps to make Ottawa a better place – why is this important to you?
It’s what I was meant to do. I feel I am making a difference in the life of a child by empowering him or her and helping grow their self-esteem and their ability to express themselves.
You give back to the Ottawa community in various ways – is there one Ottawa-related achievement of which you are most proud?
I have the honour of attending events that bring joy to kids. These include the Teddy Bear picnic, Candlelighters events, the annual CHEO telethon and many more. These are events that are equally important to our city and the kids and families that attend them.
What do you hope for Ottawa in the future?
It would be amazing if no child was ever sick again, however I know that’s not realistic. That being said, I hope CHEO-OCTC will always be there for kids and their families and that the community continues to support this wonderful organization.