Massachusetts-born comedian and actor Lenny Clarke is no stranger to fundraisers and bringing laughs to those in need. This summer, he is trading in the microphone for a bike seat, riding for a cause that's become a family affair.
For Clarke, humor runs in his family – a very large family of eight brothers and sisters.
But when his oldest sister Bernice was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis more than 40 years ago, finding humor in the debilitating disease wasn’t easy.
Bernice Ryan said, “I’ve been on intensive care, thought I was dying a couple times and wasn’t…It’s wonderful to have a family that supports you like my brothers.”
Lenny said, “I said, ‘gee wish I could do something for you Bea’ and she goes ‘it’s okay, Len. God has a plan.’ I said, ‘I love God, too, but I don’t want to be on that plan!’”
Lenny’s brother Mike, who owns Giggles Comedy Club, had been raising money to try to find a cure through the Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway on the team Pep’s Peddlers.
This year he convinced all of his brothers to join him in Bernice’s honor.
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Michael said, “I told them the Cape is not flat, there are some hills.”
But Michael didn’t tell them the ride is from Quincy to Provincetown!
Their brother Mark said, “And then my wife went to the computer and looked it up and she goes, ‘you realize this is a 150-mile race?!’ And I got back on the phone and go ‘Michael what are you crazy?!’”
Lenny said, “I love my sister Bernice so much and I think I show my love because this is hard!”
Their brother Peter said, “When I’m struggling out there, I’ll just think of Bernice.”
And Bernice says she’ll be thinking of them, too – finding humor along the way to hopefully finding a cure.
“I love them so much and I hope they have healthy hearts,” said Bernice jokingly, “because I don’t want them to have problems and have me left alone like this anyway, you know and they’ll be gone, that’s no fun for me!”
The Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway is June 30 through July 1 with the goal of raising $2.75 million.
Click here if you'd like to support Lenny and his team's Bike MS fundraising ride.