Helsana puts a smile on children’s faces

Helsana is a long-standing partner of the Theodora Foundation. We are committed to helping bring a smile to the faces of sick or injured children and their families during difficult times. Heart-warming films starring these young patients call on Swiss residents to support the work of the Theodora performers. The project was headed up by the world-famous portrait photographer Marco Grob.


Children in hospital don’t have much to laugh about. The Theodora Foundation’s performers bring a ray of sunshine into gloomy hospital rooms and allow young patients to forget their suffering for a while. As a partner of the Theodora Foundation, Helsana has launched a national campaign on social media and in cinemas across Switzerland.

Natural reactions demonstrate the impact of the Theodora Foundation

In August and September 2016, the renowned photographer and director Marco Grob took a film crew to visit the Zurich Children’s Hospital and the Cantonal Hospital Aarau. The team filmed the children as they explained why they were in hospital. While the brave young patients were recounting their medical history, a Theodora Foundation performer would arrive for a surprise visit and make them smile. The spontaneous reactions provide a striking demonstration of what the Theodora Foundation does. Marco Grob says: “I am incredibly thankful that people such as the Theodora Foundation’s Giggle Doctors are making everyday life a little more bearable for sick children. They are true heroes in my eyes.”

We documented what happened during filming, how the films were created and what the performers’ work means to the children’s parents. The short films, the cinema advert, an interview with renowned humour researcher Willibald Ruch, and a statement by André Poulie, founder of the Theodora Foundation, are all available at: www.helsana.ch/childrenssmiles.

You can help make children smile

The Theodora Foundation is entirely dependent on donations. Media professionals and other interested parties are invited to support the work of the Theodora Foundation by sharing the films using the hashtags #ChildrensSmiles, #HelsanaMoves and #TheodoraFoundation, or by writing articles on the Theodora Giggle Doctors and their work.

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