ChicagoMusic.org Interviews Bernie Mac Foundation CEO, Rhonda McCullough, on Valentine‘s Day Blues Extravaganza Fundraiser
ChicagoMusic.org has posted the following article on their website:
When comedian, and Chicago native, Bernie Mac died in August of 2008 from the effects of sarcoidosis—an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the lymph nodes and the lungs—he had already vowed that his legacy would center around increasing public awareness of the disease and attempting to facilitate the search for a cure. He’d first been diagnosed in 1983, but continued to work steadily for most of the next twenty-five years: he is Number 72 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 greatest standup comedians of all time; his Fox Network sitcom, “The Bernie Mac Show,” ran from 2001 to 2006 and garnered significant recognition, including a Peabody Award, NAACP Image Award, and two Emmy nominations; his film credits included major roles in such features as How To Be A Player, Life and the 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven. But the disease eventually took its toll. In 2006, not long after the t.v. show ended, he and his wife, Rhonda R. McCullough, embarked on a mission to create a not-for-profit entity that would, in the words of the Bernie Mac Foundation’s web site, “Be the ‘Go To’ source and on the patient side to give the patients a community, a meeting place, to learn and discuss the rigors of the disease called Sarcoidosis, and to make the research findings more accessible to those less fortunate.” The foundation was formally established the following year.