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Bernie Mac Foundation Celebrates Late Comedian’s Birthday

10/9/2019, noon | Updated on 10/9/2019, noon
The Bernie Mac Foundation recently hosted the Bernie Mac Birthday Tribute comedy show at the Laugh Factory. The event featured ...
Bernard McCullough (pictured), better known as Bernie Mac, was a stand-up comedian and founder of the Bernie Mac Foundation. Photo Credit: Provided by the Bernie Mac Foundation

Bernie Mac Foundation Celebrates Late Comedian’s Birthday

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

The Bernie Mac Foundation recently hosted the Bernie Mac Birthday Tribute comedy show at the Laugh Factory. The event featured several local stand-up comedians and celebrated what would have been Bernie Mac’s 62nd birthday.

“This will be an evening of laughter, the way my late husband would have wanted,” said Rhonda McCullough, Bernie Mac’s widow and CEO of The Bernie Mac Foundation.

The Bernie Mac Foundation was created by Bernie Mac himself to bring awareness to sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease that he lived with over two decades leading up to his death in 2008.

“The Bernie Mac Foundation was first founded by the late and great Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, the world knows him as Bernie Mac. He is our founder and chairman emeritus,” said Maryann Grossett, executive director of the Bernie Mac Foundation “The mission from the very beginning, has always been to raise awareness for sarcoidosis and to turn that awareness into fundraising to help find a cure for sarcoidosis so that patients will not suffer from sarcoidosis and die from it the way that Bernie did.”

Bernie Mac was born and raised in Chicago and is arguably one of the most well-known comedians to lay claim to the city. He was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in his mid-20’s and lived with the disease for 25 years as he raised his family and became a famous stand-up comedian across the country.

“Bernie was diagnosed as a very young man with this disease and basically when he was first diagnosed, he was misdiagnosed and we like to let people know that because the disease was even more mysterious back then than it is now,” said Grossett. “The doctor misdiagnosed him as having cancer when in fact, after they get some further research, they found out that he had sarcoidosis.”

Just a year before his death, Bernie Mac created the Bernie Mac Foundation to help others understand what sarcoidosis is and to provide support and hope for those living with the disease.

The recent comedy show was not only an event to celebrate Bernie Mac’s birthday but it was also a fundraiser for the Bernie Mac Foundation so they can continue to carry on his legacy and help those living with sarcoidosis.

To learn more about the Bernie Mac Foundation visit www.berniemacfoundation.org.