Andrew Mercier was diagnosed with Leukemia 2 days before his 10th birthday. This came as a surprise to his family and friends, as he had always been high energy, adventurous, and active kid. He was known to many as the class clown, and thoroughly enjoyed that title. He loved to make people laugh, creating his own jokes, and playing practical jokes on whomever he could. Andrew fought hard, fought gracefully, and was an amazing source of smiles and laughter until the end. Andrew passed away from his Leukemia on December 15, 2019.No photo description available.

To carry on his love of laughter and practical jokes, Andrew’s parents, Paul and Colleen started Andrew’s Laughing Gas. “We want to give every child fighting this awful disease a reason to smile, and laugh, and just be a kid. We are making stuffed animals that remotely “toot” to hand out to as many kids as we can reach, to spread Andrew’s laughter to others.”

“While our son Andrew was in the hospital, a doctor came by with a huge stuffed unicorn. She gave Andrew the remote and said she was going to put the unicorn across the hall, at the nursing station. He pressed the remote and made the unicorn fart to the unsuspecting nursing staff. Well, he pressed it so many times, that finally one of the nurses put the unicorn in the back! When the doctor found out, she put the unicorn in Andrew’s room and he kept pranking nurses and doctors that came to see him by hiding the remote in his bed and making the unicorn fart in his room. This provided many many laughs for Andrew and the staff. He named the unicorn Dookie. One day Paul and I told Andrew that when we had time, we wanted to make our own farting animals and give them to the pediatric oncology patients at JHH” says Colleen.

“The main goal is to provide some laughter during an otherwise very difficult time, for the kids and families going through pediatric cancer. We’ve heard from some parents that our animals have allowed them to really see their children laugh for the first time since their treatment began.”

Animals are also available to the general public 1-2 times per year – a limited number of animals are available for purchase for a minimum donation of $25.00. More details to follow on their Facebook page. Due to the pandemic, this is currently one of our most successful fundraising methods. Once the world begins to return to normal, ALG hopes to host a golf tournament in Baltimore or Deep Creek. They are also actively seeking out corporate partnerships and sponsors who have an interest in their mission and want to support their efforts.

“The main goal is to provide some laughter during an otherwise very difficult time, for the kids and families going through pediatric cancer. We’ve heard from some parents that our animals have allowed them to really see their children laugh for the first time since their treatment began.”

Since their start in February 2020, ALG has sent over 330 stuffed animals to eighteen hospitals all over the country. “We never thought we’d be in hospitals outside of Maryland! This nonprofit has reached beyond our wildest dreams, even in just the few months we have been doing this. We hope to reach every single Children’s Hospital that services Pediatric Cancer in the United States.”

“This is absolutely our purpose. It keeps Andrew alive for us. We don’t say, “We make kids laugh”, we say, “Andrew is making kids laugh.” This was 100% his type of humor. He would have been so excited to know that we didn’t just make this happen at JHH, but it is across the country and even overseas. He always wanted to be famous, and this would have made him feel very famous.”

Andrew’s Laughing Gas provides these gassy animals, free of charge, to any child battling cancer. If you would like to request an animal for a family member or friend, you can visit https://andrewslaughinggas.org/contact to submit a request. If you would like to volunteer to help assemble the stuffed animals, please reach out to Paul Mercier at andrewslaughinggas@gmail.com.