Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa gospel concert seeks to raise awareness of sarcoidosis

TAMPA — The biggest mountain sarcoidosis research faces is lack of awareness.

Sarcoidosis affects thousands of Americans. It is a potentially fatal disease with symptoms easily attributed to other illnesses. Emma Carroll serves as executive director of Janine's Sarcoidosis Outreach Foundation, named for her late daughter, Foyia Janine Carroll-Grant, who died of complications from sarcoidosis.

She's fighting to inform more about the disease.

"The first thing we hear from people is, 'We're so glad we found you' and, 'I thought I was all alone,' " Carroll said. "We don't have the national PSAs or the celebrity spokesperson (like many other diseases have)."

Carroll, the JSOF, and the Tampa Bay Sarcoidosis Support Group are bring their awareness campaign to Tampa on Saturday with a gospel concert at St. John Progressive MB Church in College Hill.

It's not the group's first event in Tampa. The organization staged a walk in 2010 at Al Lopez Park, and hosted a balloon launch at Al Lopez the year after. The support group has been established in Tampa since 2009.

On Saturday, a host of doctors, advocates and entertainers will flock to the banner for a pre-Thanksgiving thanks-and-praise in what is being dubbed Raise the Praise Gospel Concert for sarcoidosis research.

Most everyone at the concert has been affected by sarcoidosis in some way. Gospel artist Ricky Dillard was diagnosed two years ago. Rod Carter of WFLA TV 8, who is hosting the event along with radio host Randall C, has had sarcoidosis affect someone close in his life.

"This is the first time a celebrity (Dillard) has come out to join us," Carroll said. "We have needed a notable spokesperson."

Comedian Bernie Mac, who died of sarcoidosis in 2008, was a likely spokesperson to help boost awareness.

"We were hoping (Bernie Mac) would be an advocate for us, but Bernie and his family wanted to wait," Carroll said. "Unfortunately, Bernie died before we could do that."

Bernie Mac's daughter Je'Niece McCullough, picked up the mantle and helps Carroll and the foundation spread awareness. She will attend Saturday along with Wonder P. Drake, a lead researcher in a Vanderbilt University sarcoidosis study.

Other musical guests are Derek Smith and the New Dimensions, and the Gospel Workshop of America Tampa Mass Choir. Comedian Burchaun Carter will perform.

There will be a meet-and-greet with doctors specializing in sarcoidosis, and support groups will avail themselves. There also will be raffled prizes and much more.

Andy Warrener can be reached at


Raise the Praise

When: Saturday from 6

to 8 p.m.

Where: St. John Progressive MB Church, 2504 Chipco St.

Features: Ricky Dillard, Derek Smith and the New Dimensions, the Gospel Workshop of America Tampa Mass Choir. Special appearance by Je'Niece McCullough, daughter of Bernie Mac

Benefits: Wonder Drake's sarcoidosis research at Vanderbilt University

Tampa gospel concert seeks to raise awareness of sarcoidosis 11/06/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 5:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Encounters: Trial by storm for a rookie principal


    DUNEDIN — When he nodded off to sleep, the hallway lights outside Michael Vasallo's office were on, so the sudden darkness woke him.

    The glow of his desk phone dimmed.

    Michael Vasallo, right, the first-year principal at Dunedin Highland Middle School, talks with the school's head plant operator Clint Case near the back-up generator on campus. The generator failed just as Hurricane Irma passed through Pinellas County, making for a stressful night. The experience made Vasallo long to return to his regular job, educating middle schoolers. [COLEEN WRIGHT   |   Times]

  2. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree


    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.
  3. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  4. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.