While he may forever be known to most as one of the "Original Kings of Comedy," whether it be The Steve Harvey Show or his hilarious turn in Barbershop, there's little that comedian and actor Cedric the Entertainer hasn't already accomplished.
Now he's added spokesman to his already impressive resume, using his massive platform to inform others about the dangers of diabetic nerve pain (also known as "diabetic peripheral neuropathy) through a campaign called "Step On Up".
Though you've probably seen the commercials, off-screen it's a condition incredibly near to his own heart, as it's one his own father once struggled against. Joining the cause in 2014 he immediately teamed up with Step On Up, an informational program designed to spread education and awareness for those currently living with the condition. For Cedric, it's an all too familiar struggle that unfortunately millions of others suffer from, often in silence.
He explained, "My father has type 2 diabetes and suffers from diabetic nerve pain. That was my motivation. People who have diabetes often will not know that it's associated. It's the kind of thing, the burning and shooting pain that many just write off as 'Oh, I'm just tired.' A lot of people self-diagnose themselves instead of getting the proper care."
He added, "My dad is the typical male. He's a golfer and very active. We watched him come up with excuses as to why he suddenly didn't have the energy for his favorite activities. For him it was, 'I'll just run it off.' That's the thing, so many of us don't want to go to the doctor, but early detection is important in treating these symptoms." Those unfamiliar with the disease may first be struck by burning, shooting pain, often unaware that it's directly related to diabetes. Fortunately, these painful symptoms are manageable, but proper diagnosis and treatment is of course essential.
Thankfully for Ced, it's a lesson that worked out in the end. He went on to say, "He's doing so much better now, right back to doing what he loves, but the minority community, in particular, needs to know that this disease affects them in greater numbers. So it's important that we have these discussions and go get yourself checked out."
Currently, the entertainer himself is hitting the road for a series of sessions designed to encourage others to "step on up," in order to seek pain relief. On October 17th, he joined the American Diabetes Association's annual EXPO in Houston to discuss the various symptoms and manifestations of the disease. In addition to lending his voice for a great cause, he's still found time to hone his own craft.
In addition to his dapper hat line, currently available at www.WhoCed.com; fans can also expect the return of his wildly successful TV Land comedy Soul Man, which he serves as co-creator. We can also expect Barbershop 3 to finally hit theaters next Spring. Yes!
For more information regarding the Step On Up campaign, please visit www.diabetespainhelp.com.
Read the full interview at Houston Style Magazine - October 2015