Happening Now

Craniofacial patient fundraises for Barrow through standup comedy

July 22, 2016

Knowing laughter is the best medicine, Rich Prange treats people to a good dose of humor on a daily basis. He’s also using it to raise money for others confronted with challenges similar to his own.

Rich was born with Jackson Weiss Syndrome, a rare condition that causes head and face abnormalities. Throughout his childhood, he underwent nearly 20 reconstructive surgeries, which have affected his hearing and vision. Yet, he doesn’t let disabilities hold him back: Rich is an accomplished, award-winning 12 News photojournalist who has a vivid alter ego as an improvisational comedian.

Joking about his condition and experiences publicly, Rich aims to give kids dealing with craniofacial issues—and their parents—hope for a better future.

“Socially, growing up was never easy,” he said. “I was often prejudged as intellectually slow or disabled.”

While preparing for what would hopefully be the last of his reconstructive procedures, Rich used his act at the Comedy Spot in Scottsdale to support the Barrow Cleft and Craniofacial Center. In addition to raising money for the cause, he hopes to lift spirits.

“You have to find light in the darkness,” he said.