Bernie Mac was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis in 1983 which left his lungs weakened. At first it was difficult to live with this poorly understood disease and not know how it would impact his and his family’s future. With time, Mac learned to live his life one day at a time, never allowing the sarcoidosis to interfere with his belief in himself or the pursuit of his dreams. His stand-up motto says it all … “I ain’t scared of you…!”
For the next 25 years, and up until his death in August, 2008, Mac and his family lived a rich and full life in many ways. He, Rhonda, his wife of 30 years, Je’Niece, his daughter, and Jasmine, his granddaughter, lived fully. Believing in keeping mind and body strong with a strong work and family ethic, he was careful about his diet, fanatical about exercise and strength training, and he worked closely with a team of doctors, following their direction and testing new treatments as they became available. He never gave in.
As a result, Mac had the stamina to continue his stand-up comedy career. Plus, he remarkably maintained vigorous production schedules with his successful TV show and his movie commitments. He often performed all his own stunts in his movies, he played golf regularly and best of all, he and Rhonda raised their daughter and less than one year ago became hands-on doting grandparents. Mac’s tenacity and resiliency was truly amazing. He never gave in.
Mac’s belief that he could make a difference regarding a cure for Sarcoidosis started in 2006. With a vision and a generous donation from Bernie and Rhonda, the foundation became a reality in 2007. Bernie wanted to use his influence and position to create a foundation dedicated on the professional side to 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.
We At The Bernie Mac Foundation Are Determinedly Resolved,
Now More Than Ever,
To Make This Happen...
With Your Help We Will!
We will accomplish this primary vision by focusing on the international professional community to facilitate issuing grants and organizing key findings. We will convene an annual Thought Leadership Conference. This will be a conference by invitation only to thought leaders (researchers and clinicians) with the understanding they will bring their practical clinical experience and knowledge to discuss and identify significant research projects in the hope of solving the puzzle called Sarcoidosis.
We will team with the strongest of partners, such as the Respiratory Health Association and the American Lung Association. We will link treating physicians and researchers to patients for ongoing studies. We will be the cog to disseminate information and resources where they need to be. We promise to continually strive to be on the leading edge of scientific research and education.
And, on a daily basis, remember the spirit and passion of Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, Mac Man; what he believed in and why he started The Bernie Mac Foundation. He never gave in.