Simon (Portland, OR)

“I’ve never been the social type. I’m more of homebody, which can be really lonely at times.  But, being part of the IRCO community allows me to  meet and make friends from all over the world. We share meals, exercise together and genuinely care about each other.  Being here makes me feel more human. We don’t speak the same language and maybe different colors, but we’re really the same. We’re all human and have the same right to live, no matter where we come from.”

IRCO is a nonprofit organization promoting the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient and inclusive multi-ethnic society. Learn how you can make a difference here.



Tsering (Portland, OR)

“Life was hard in Tibet because of civil unrest, so I fled to Nepal and sought asylum. I was a refugee for many years until my daughter, who lived in the US, sponsored me to live in America. I didn’t know any English and never traveled outside of Asia, so I was pretty scared to fly alone. My daughter wasn’t able to accompany me, so her friends traveled to Nepal to ensure my safe journey to my new home.”



Mangali (Portland, OR)

“I fled Bhutan because our freedom was stolen from us – we couldn’t practice our religion, lost our jobs and were told what to wear, read and speak or else we’d be arrested. One night, the leaders of our village gathered all the women and girls and told us we must leave our homes and live with the army to work as servants. I opposed the leaders and told them, ‘Make your wives and daughters go first, then we’ll follow. Until then, I’m not going anywhere!’ That night, 7 other women and I stuffed clothes under our sheets so the soldiers on patrol thought we were sleeping. We then gathered all we could carry and escaped into the forest.” 


Jack, Founder of Crack-Up Cancer comedy show (Tampa, FL)

“I’m what you would call a ‘Masshole.’ I grew up in an Irish, Italian, and Catholic household in Massachusetts and quickly learned to have an obnoxiously sarcastic sense of humor. The most challenging time in my life was when both my parents passed from cancer, between 2003 – 2007. For my mother, treatment was a rollercoaster. Even though she knew she would die soon, her sense of humor came in handy.  In fact, I remember her saying “cancer sucks” before it was popular. My parents were courageous, had a great sense of humor, and raised their children the right way – to show compassion for all, respect everyone, and to live your life truthfully.  When they passed, I started a comedy show called ‘Crack-up Cancer’ to support various organizations in the fight against cancer.  10 years later, we’ve raised over $100,000 for the community! My approach to comedy is similar to how my parents raised me. I am not the biggest schmoozer and probably can’t land thousands of dollars promising people the world. But, I am honest and have built this event with pride for 10 years.  I know if my parents could see me now, they would be proud – this is my driver. I don’t need to raise millions of dollars, I just want to do my part to help.” 

Want to see a group of hysterical, talented comics all on one stage for a GREAT cause?  Join my friend Jack at his 11th annual Crack-up Cancer comedy show on September 30th, 2017 at the Straz Performing Arts Center in Tampa, FL. Tickets are only $25 with proceeds benefiting cancer support programs and research. Find more information here! Please Love, Like and Share!

DSC_5515_edited-2Crack up cancer graphic


Bud (Trinidad, CA)

“There was a time in my life where I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore. My mother passed away and I was completely alone. I fell to my knees and prayed to my mother to help me find my heart lickety split (because we’re Irish). A few days later, I was driving and a white dog with black spots was running between the cars. My gut told me to open my car door and yell for her and to my surprise, the dog turned around and jumped inside! Since then, that dog, now my Emilie, and I are best friends. She’s the reason I’m still here. She makes me feel like I matter and doesn’t care I was homeless, talked a lot or smoked cigarettes. She loves me for me, every second of the day. She even has a spot on her back in the shape of a heart. That’s my heart and she’s my miracle.”




Tina, Program Director at Kindling Studios (Camarillo, CA)

 “I’m an art therapist with Kindling Studios, an art studio for those with special needs. This has always been my dream because I want to give people an opportunity to express themselves and turn their passions into a livelihood. Artists with special needs should be able to practice what they love to do, but not everyone has that opportunity.  I want to help them achieve this.”

Make a difference with Kindling Studios, learn more about their mission here.



Kat (Camarillo, CA)

“Kindling Studios has been a god send, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. Through the art classes, I now have a network of friends and family.” – Kat

“Kat has a place to go, people to see. When we segregate those with special needs, we take away their social community.” – Casey (Kat’s mother) 

Make a difference with Kindling Studios – learn about their mission here.