The autoimmune disease lupus is no laughing matter, causing severe pain throughout the body of those who suffer from it, making it difficult to maintain regular employment and handle basic life tasks.

But Marlo De La Mora, who has lived with the disease since 2009, refuses to let it destroy her spirit. That’s why she has created a special comedy benefit Performance of “Defying Gravity: Fritz Coleman Speaks to a Generation” starring longtime KNBC-Channel 4 weatherman Fritz Coleman, teaming with the We Win Foundation to raise money to assist area lupus victims with financial support for rent and other essential needs. The show also features comics Terence Washington and Edrina Bliss Gibson, who is a lupus patient as well.

“I have lupus, and I know I needed financial and emotional support,” says De La Mora. “There was nothing in my area so I decided I would start my own support group four years ago in Simi Valley. I was fortunate to have family members help me, but I’ve met people who don’t have that option.

“I stayed up with one woman until 3 a.m. in the hospital and then she had to go home and bake $1,000 worth of goods so she could make rent and pay bills,” adds De La Mora. “That’s when I knew I needed to get involved. I teamed up with the We Win Foundation, which helps people with lupus. Then I reached out to comedy clubs because I know laughter is healing, and the Ice House not only welcomed us, but teamed us with Fritz Coleman since he likes to do charity shows there on weekends.”

Fritz Coleman performs “Defying Gravity: Fritz Coleman Speaks to a Generation” with Edrina Bliss Gibson and Terence Washington opening, at 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets   are $20 to $27.
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