This is a picture I took the other night of Lisa Valentine Clark, myself, and Chris Clark, Lisa’s husband. They’re two of my best friends. Lisa and I met 21 years ago in the Garrens Comedy Troupe at BYU. We became close friends, which Chris accepted because I am romantically nonthreatening. Then Chris and I got to be good friends, too, which Lisa accepted because I am romantically nonthreatening.
Chris was recently diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The one from the Ice Bucket Challenge. Which didn’t work, because Chris Clark has it. As diseases go, ALS is a bastard. It will gradually destroy Chris’ nervous system, his ability to move, and his speech. Eventually, barring a cure or other miracle, it will kill him.
Chris and Lisa have five children, ages 8 to 18. I used to write about the Clarks in Snide Remarks sometimes.
ALS is devastating and horrible. It’s also expensive, even with health insurance. To help the Clarks, some of their friends are remounting a production of “Xanadu” that Chris directed in 2012 at the Hale Center Theater in Orem, Utah. Shows are at 10:30 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday, June 23-25, and next week on the same nights. There are also 11 a.m. shows on the Saturdays. Ticket price is a donation of at least $25. All the money will go to the Clarks. The actors and technicians are working for free, and the Hale Center Theater is generously lending its stage.
If you’re in the area, please consider seeing “Xanadu.” If you’re not in the area, or if you cannot be compelled to see “Xanadu” (totally understandable), please visit Xanadu Benefit to see about buying some merchandise or just making a cash donation.
It’s no surprise to people who know the Clarks that they’re facing this challenge with humor and strength. But they need all the support they can get, emotionally as well as financially. Please contribute if you can. If you had ALS, they would totally do it for you.