British Columbia·Our Vancouver

Sickboy podcast fights illness and stigma with laughter

Halifax's Brian Stever, Jeremie Saunders and Taylor MacGillivary channel the lighter side of illness in the Sickboy Podcast.

Halifax's Brian Stever, Jeremie Saunders and Taylor MacGillivary host the Sickboy Podcast.

Sickboy Podcasters

7 years ago
Duration 9:46
Three friends from Halifax start the podcast to push stigma over sickness away

When Jeremie Saunders was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, it meant he would have to take nearly 40 pills every day for the rest of his life.

"I'm known for my cough," he told CBC's Our Vancouver host Gloria Macarenko. "I have to clear out the mucus that's blocking up a lot of my airways."

Jeremy spends two hours a day loosening and removing the mucus in his lungs. But he sees humour in his illness, and now he channels the laughter in a podcast with two of his best friends, Taylor MacGillivary and Brian Stever.

Brian Stever, Jeremie Saunders, and Taylor MacGillivary host the Sickboy Podcast. (Sickboy)

It's called Sickboy Podcast and it's hosted by the Halifax trio. Episodes feature guests who are battling different physical and mental illnesses, or who experience stigma.

"It's a comedy podcast," he said. "The idea is to mine for the humour within the human experience of being sick."

Co-host Brian Stever says there's nothing funny about illness in and of itself — but the experiences that go along with illness can sometimes be laughable.

"The circumstances when you go to these hospital visits and they ask you to get into these compromising positions that you usually wouldn't talk about — that kind of humour is what acts as a catalyst to broach some of those subjects and take away some of the awkwardness," he said.

The team says Sickboy tackles these subjects head on in the hope that people will be more open to talking about illness, rather than tip-toeing around difficult conversations.

"The idea is to make these conversations more approachable to the everyday person, [who] might feel like this is a sticky situation that they want to stay away from," said Taylor MacGillivary.

"A lot of people associate sadness and grief with these stories, and we're trying to go in the opposite direction to make them more accessible for everybody."

With files from CBC's Our Vancouver

To watch the full Our Vancouver interview, click here