Actor Michael B. Jordan is used to playing the hero on the silver screen, but yesterday he became a real-life one as well.
The Creed star held a fund-raiser, MBJAM18, at the Hollywood Blvd. Dave & Buster’s in Los Angeles on the afternoon of Saturday, July 28, to raise money and awareness in the fight against lupus.
“My mom [Donna Jordan] has lupus — she’s had it for over 25 years,” Jordan explained to the Hollywood Reporter.
“As soon as I was able to find an organization to align myself with, to bring more awareness to the disease and other lupus patients out there, I was all for it. There is no cure. All of our efforts right now are to raise money for research, and find out as much as we can about it so we can get new treatments and new medications and new approaches to attacking the disease.”
The sold-out fund-raiser — which featured games and activities, a silent auction, and a buffet with carnival foods — was attended by celebrities like Beat Shazam host Jamie Foxx, Master of None star and writer Lena Waithe, Extra host Mario Lopez, A Wrinkle in Time actress Storm Reid, Meredith Monroe of 13 Reasons Why, Shameless star Scott Michael Campbell, professional skateboarder Brandon Biebel, and This Is Us actors Niles Fitch and Mackenzie Hancsicsak.
Additionally, nearly 200 lupus patients and members of their families were invited to the event sponsored by American Airlines, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Coach for free.
“[Michael is] a classy guy, and the fact that he’s raising money and awareness for a worthy cause is awesome,” Mario Lopez told the Hollywood Reporter. Lopez attended the event while on crutches after recent surgery on his Achilles tendon and with his wife, Courtney Mazza, and their children, 7-year-old daughter Gia and 4-year-old son Dominic.
“The fact that it’s a family event is even cooler because you can educate your kids on important stuff like this.”
Jamie Foxx and Jordan played several rounds of a basketball shoot-off game at the event, raising $20 for each hoop scored, reported Entertainment Tonight.
“I met Jamie when I was about 17, 18 — when I was really young and first moved out [to Los Angeles],” 31-year-old Jordan told ET.
“He’s just always been a mentor and a big brother to me. So, when I finally had something I could call somebody out to, I was like, ‘Hey, can you show up and help support this cause?’ and it was an easy conversation. He’s a multifaceted, talented man who can do so many different things, and he’s always found a way to do what he cared about — drama, comedy, action, hosting. He’s a man who wears many hats. I’ve also [learned from him] just being able to never take yourself too seriously. Just have fun and enjoy yourself.”
The $250,000 raised at the event was donated to Lupus LA, which is “dedicated to finding causes of and cure for lupus, while providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus.”
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system cannot tell the difference between sickly cells (viruses, bacterias, germs) and healthy ones.
“Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these unhealthy cells,” said Lupus LA.
“However, with lupus, the body gets confused and sometimes attacks the wrong cell. This means that the body is attacking itself, killing both good and bad cells. Lupus can affect any part of the body, including the skin and major organs, and can cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.”
The disease affects more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. alone, including celebrities like Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon, Seal, and Toni Braxton.
This was the second annual event for MBJAM. On Sept. 16, 2017, Jordan held a carnival at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, California.
The Black Panther Star will next be seen on the big screen in Creed II, which comes out Nov. 21.