It might be cliché to say someone laughed in the face of death, but for one San Antonio comedian, that’s exactly what happened.
Now he has to do it again. He’s worked his whole life to help San Antonio love and support comedy. Now he needs you to love him back.
His name filled the room at a recent comedy night.
“Ladies and gentleman, Larry Garza!”
When life get tough, Larry Garza makes jokes.
“I'm taking advantage of every day," he said. "I'm waking up early and staying up really late."
He’s shooting a comedy special, all the while knowing that the performance may be one of his last.
"What's cool is that I got this gig before the cancer announcement. I still rock my badge that I got this based on talent and not by pity."
Garza had stage 4 kidney cancer, and while the disease spread to his lungs, it couldn't steal his humor, like his light-hearted conversation with his kidney surgeon.
"He removed Hillary," Larry said, pointing at Dr. Dharam Kauchik of UT Medicine San Antonio. "I named the tumors Hillary and Trump. They're gone."
With two surgeries done and one kidney gone, plus a part of his lung removed, Garza’s stage 4 cancer went into remission in about two months.
"He is a star patient. He should be on TV!" Dr. Kauchik joked. "I made a comedian laugh? Ha ha ha!"
Garza won his first battle with cancer, but there is a stark reality.
"Once you are a cancer patient, you are always a cancer patient," Dr. Kauchik said. "It can always come back."
And it did... as brain cancer. Garza, still smiling, teaches his children that laughter heals more than you think.
"I'm super proud," said his daughter, Mykee. "He wasn't a fraidy cat like that one would have been."
"He lost a little strength," said his son, Gunner. "He can't pick up heavy things anymore."
"But yet he never stopped being funny," Mykee said.
Garza’s comedy special is set for release on Black Friday on his comedy troupe’s website.
He’s worked his whole life to help his hometown love and support comedy.
Now it’s time for the Alamo city to love him back.
(© 2016 KENS)