Comedy 4 Cancer returns with ‘Homecoming’ benefit for teen

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published April 13, 2018

 Comedy 4 Cancer’s “Homecoming” benefiting Makenzie Czapski and her family will run from 7 to 9 p.m. April 28 in the auditorium of the Warren Community Center at 5460 Arden Ave. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit comedy4cancer.com/events.

Comedy 4 Cancer’s “Homecoming” benefiting Makenzie Czapski and her family will run from 7 to 9 p.m. April 28 in the auditorium of the Warren Community Center at 5460 Arden Ave. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit comedy4cancer.com/events.

Photo provided by JD Marshall

WARREN — Comedy 4 Cancer will celebrate its second anniversary by returning for a show at the Warren Community Center to benefit a New Haven teen battling a rare and aggressive form of the disease.

The night of laughs and revelry for a great cause will feature one of the nonprofit’s biggest-ever lineups of comedians, with headliner Tom McCarthy, joined by Sal Demilio, Mike Logan and Patricia O’Callaghan,

Founder JD Marshall, of Warren, who started the A Mission of Love nonprofit and began hosting Comedy 4 Cancer events after his own 13-year-old daughter, Stephaine, died in 2015. Marshall said one of the group’s board members connected him with Makenzie Czapski’s family, and he was moved by her story.  

Czapski, 16, a sophomore at L’Anse Creuse North High School, is currently undergoing treatment for Burkitt lymphoma. A form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma affecting the immune system, it is recognized as the fastest-growing cancer ous tumor in humans.

Tragically, Makenzie lost her mom to cancer in April 2016.

“I think her story, you know, that one hit close to home. She’s facing a battle herself, and has to think about her mom. I can’t even imagine that,” Marshall said. “My daughter would have been 16 years old.”

Bob Czapski, who grew up in Center Line and went to school at St. Clement, said the support that’s emerged for his family — from co-workers, the community and people like Marshall — has been “overwhelming.”

“A lot of people have reached out to my family; a lot of generous, kind people out there,” Czapski said. “It has made it a lot easier for us, for sure.”

Through it all, he said, his daughter’s attitude and strength have been inspiring.

“I’m amazed at the way she’s handling everything. The first week, there was a lot of tears. After that, she’s been strong,” Czapski said. “She’s been positive through it all. The way they treat it, it’s curable. They caught it early enough. Hopefully it will all be gone.”

Czapski said he was also moved by Marshall’s story and the work he’s doing.

“To see people go through that and do what he’s doing is just pretty amazing too. He turned it into a positive, and he’s helping a lot of people with it, which is great,” Czapski said.

After two years of Comedy 4 Cancer fundraisers, monthly “Best Day Awards” and all the little things he’s done to help ease the burden for pediatric cancer patients and their families, Marshall said his “Mission of Love” has not yet been accomplished fully.   

“It’s tough. It’s hard to do this stuff, but at the same time, it’s very rewarding,” Marshall said. “I made a promise to my daughter when I started out that I’d keep doing it. I’ll be done when they find a better treatment for these kids and they don’t need my help.”

Comedy 4 Cancer’s “Homecoming” benefiting Makenzie Czapski and her family will run from 7 to 9 p.m. April 28 in the auditorium of the Warren Community Center at 5460 Arden Ave., west of Mound Road and south of 14 Mile Road. Tickets cost $15 online, plus a $2.89 ordering fee.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit comedy4cancer.com/events.