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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Laughing for the cure to breast cancer
Comedy show at Knight Theater is a major fundraiser
 
Published Wednesday, January 30, 2013 1:00 pm
by Michaela L. Duckett

Laughter and breast cancer seem like an unlikely mix.

But according to Lori Vaccaro, executive director for the Charlotte Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, humor helps people living with the disease survive their ordeal.

Anyone who has ever attended a Komen Race for the Cure sees it. Each year, several thousand cancer patients, survivors and supporters fill the streets of uptown Charlotte donning pink wigs, pink tutus and t-shirts with catchy phrases like “Yes, my boobs are fake, my real ones tried to kill me” and “I make bald look good.”

“We get so much humor from survivors,” Vaccaro said. “One of our initiatives is to interject as much humor into this as possible because it is so serious.”

On Feb. 2, Komen Charlotte will host its annual fundraiser “Laugh for the Cure” at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts (430 S. Tryon St.). The evening will include food, drinks, a silent and live auction and culminate with a stand-up comedy show featuring John Heffron, winner of “Last Comic Standing” and star of three Comedy Central Presents specials.

Vaccaro said the show honors women like Kristy Adams Ebel who have inspired others with their ability to have a positive attitude and thrive in the midst of battling breast cancer.

“She was an amazingly funny woman,” Vaccaro said of Ebel, who died five years ago at age 36. “She inspired many of the women involved with Komen to laugh…. Her whole support mechanism for survivors was around laughing.”

She recalled how Ebel prohibited anyone in her presence from uttering the words “breast cancer.” She opted to refer to it as “hooter invasion.”

“One of my goals, in her memory, is to increase the level of humor that we interject into the survivor community and in to the topic of breast cancer to make that a subject that is a little easier to deal with,” Vaccaro said.

Proceeds from Laugh for the Cure will help Komen Charlotte continue to serve dozens of local nonprofits, hospitals and clinics by assisting with funds to provide breast cancer diagnostic and support services in Mecklenburg and twelve other surrounding counties.

“It is tragic how many people are dying young of breast cancer,” said Vaccaro. “I want to make sure that we do everything we can to catch the disease and provide support for people who are living with the disease.”

On the Net:

www.KomenCharlotte.org

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