Comedy Show raises money for Chiari Malformation

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- It's called "The Zipperheads of Comedy", a group of local comedians are coming together to raise money for a serious brain disorder.

Chiari Malformation is brain condition that happens when the cerebellum, back part of the brain, slips past the skull into the spinal cord. It causes severe headaches, trouble swallowing, balance problems and leg pain.

It also affects 1 in every 1,000 men, women and children but often goes undiagnosed.

Local WIMZ disc jockey, J.D Howard, or better known as "Octavius" and his wife Dennise found out that their daughter Emma had the disorder when she was only 4 years old.

Luckily, Emma had the corrective surgery and is now living a healthy and active life. However, she still has the scar from surgery. The back of her head was shaved and the doctors cut down to her upper back to relieve the pressure that was building up.

She had 29 staples that left a zipper-like scar going down the back of her neck; that's why the Howard's and other Chiari Malformation patients affectionately call themselves "Zipperheads". It's also the reason the comedy act is called "Zipperheads of Comedy".

There are many people out there that have never hear of this disorder so the Howard's are trying to get the word out.

The show is Sunday April 1st at Side Splitters Comedy Club in West Knoxville at 7:00pm. It's hosted by Stephen A. Burroughs and local comedians include: Oz, Taz Cable, Alex Stokes, Coley O'Dell, Sandy Goddard, Jay Pinkerton, Scott Bohannon, Mike Howard, Erin Donovan, and Jay Mac.

It will be a night of laughter, dancing, music and a silent auction. All the proceeds from the event will go to Chiari Malformation research.


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