Austin comedians remember Lashonda Lester

Comedian Lashonda Lester - voted Austin's funniest person - died two months ago after she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2015.

When you talk to people who knew Lashonda Lester, you get a sense of her spirit and her love for comedy.

On Wednesday, fellow Austin comedians gathered for a benefit to help Lester's family.The benefit included a silent auction and raffle.

Lester, who was voted Austin's Funniest Person of 2016, died in April. Although a cause of death has not been released, she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2015. 

Matt Bearden, Lester's friend and the host of the benefit, spoke with KVUE.

"If some else had died, [Lashonda] is who everyone would have run to for help. So when the person who is supposed to help you is the person that's gone, I think that's what left is feeling like zombies these last two months," Bearden said.

Back in October, KVUE's Quita Culpepper spoke with Lester about her health problems. In order to help with her skyrocketing medical bills, other Austin comedians held a "Just Kidneying" benefit to help her out. Now, her family is left with some financial constraints.

"Lashonda was not a clown on stage, she told you very real takes on life and she did the thing that makes comics great she was a comic that talked about things we could all relate too. But, she brought her point of view," Bearden said.

Lester passed away a short time before she was supposed to tape a special for Comedy Central. Bearden says Comedy Central has donated to the family but he would not say how much. Bearden and others are working on releasing a comedy album this fall featuring Lester's work.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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