Co-Host of CBC Podcast Sickboy
Jeremie Saunders is an award-winning actor, producer and host of the hit podcast, Sickboy. Born and raised on the East Coast of Canada, Jeremie is a strong voice in rethinking the way people look at illness and disease. He lives with a genetic lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis.
Jeremie discovered his passion for performance through competitive improv. He studied acting at Ryerson Theatre School. Soon after, Jeremie began his career as a professional actor as a host on the Canadian Screen Award and Gemini-winning CBC television series, “ARTZOOKA!” and the National Film Board of Canada’s educational documentary series, “Space School.”
In the culmination of Jeremie’s affinity for laughter and education, Sickboy Podcast was created. Listed as one of iTunes’ Best of 2015, the Sickboy Podcast is produced and hosted by Jeremie and his two best friends, Taylor MacGillivary and Brian Stever. Together, they explore conversations with a wide range of guests, talking and laughing about the experiences of living with terminal or chronic illness. Sickboy Podcast aims to tear down the walls of stigma and find levity in an otherwise dark situation.
Jeremie is a brilliant speaker, his keynotes having been described as “simply the most thought-provoking, powerful talk I’ve ever witnessed.” CBC released an acclaimed documentary on Sickboy, just weeks before Jeremie gave a rousing standing ovation for his talk at TEDxToronto.
Jeremie is currently based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia where he lives with his wife Bryde.
For most of us, the definition of success is accomplishing our goals. But often times these achievements in life are not possible without the support of others. In his keynote, Jeremie breaks down the importance of building community when striving for success and the vital role vulnerability plays in building the trust needed to strengthen the foundation of support we need as we strive to realize our goals.
Despite our differences, one thing we all have in common is death. One way or another, it’s going to get each of us. Jeremie has been forced to meditate on that reality and it’s had a profound effect on how he approaches life. In this keynote, Jeremie candidly and openly shares his story about growing up with Cystic Fibrosis and how he found laughter to be key as he shifted his perspective from seeing himself as someone who is dying from a fatal disease to someone who has been given the gift of a shortened life expectancy in order to make the most of it. As he sees it, his time on this earth really isn’t that much shorter than yours… so why don’t we all try living life this way?
Sitting down with hundreds of podcast guests for over an hour each and having conversations about their health issues and their most uncomfortable realities has taught Jeremie a huge and invaluable lesson – by allowing himself to become uncomfortable, he has become a more compassionate, empathetic person and a stronger leader. When something makes us uncomfortable, we do everything we can to avoid it. But what if we faced it head-on? What would we learn? How would we shift? Discomfort provides us with opportunities. Opportunity to learn. Opportunity to empathize. Opportunity to cultivate change. Opportunity to grow.