Kenosha, meet Christopher LeMark!
You will not very often meet a young man who has been through some rough patches in his early life who now has his head on straight and focused. Well, here is such a man. Kenosha, meet Christopher LeMark.
Christopher was born on January 29, 1979, and was abandoned by his mom with his four sisters in 1982. He then lived with his aunt and her family for twelve years, and was mentally and physically abused during that time. What kept him going during that time were his heroes, Michael Jackson, Superman, the Chicago Bears, and his imagination. “But, now I’m light years from all that,” he said. “You never know what real love is unless you experience real hate.”
He was pushed out of his aunt’s house at the age of 15. A cousin then took him in, and he experienced the “rich life.” He went to a high school where there was food, kids in nice clothes, sports, all the girls liked him. But, he rebelled, because he couldn’t handle “the nice things.” He felt inferior, started skipping school, then he just left.
Christopher was arrested for trespassing on a man’s property, and the man put a gun to Christopher’s head. His cousin told the police to take him. He then spent some time at the Cook County holding facility, and he said that he “had the time of my life. These kids understand. It was like boot camp. I felt fine, more at home. I got along with ‘my brothers.’” He was the smallest one there; therefore, he was picked on quite a bit. A fire took the lives of two of his ‘brothers’ in November of 1994.
He spent the next three years of his life in group homes and shelters. He was able to get a job waiting tables at Denny’s. One of the other kids broke into his room one day and was playing with his video games, and Christopher just lost it. He went after the kid with a baseball bat. He had so much anger and pain inside. He said he just blacked out. “I hit every face that put their hands on me.”
He then spent two and one-half weeks in jail. He couldn’t go back to the group home, so he was sent to a temporary holding home. His Denny’s family knew that he was a nice guy, so they helped him raise the money to bail him out. He started living on his own when he was 18. He participated in an independent living program from ages 18 to 21.
Then, Christopher “found his faith,” as he puts it. He had started reading the Bible a week before he met a girl that led him to church. He had been promiscuous as a young man because he never knew the affection of a mother. Sex had become a habit for him, but it never made him really happy. It was never enough. “Yeah, I slept around; I lied. I was always afraid to tell the real story.”
Christopher moved here to Kenosha in July of 2011. He wanted to live near his sisters, nieces, and nephews because they “light up my life.” He works at the Boys and Girls Club at the Front Desk and enjoys watching the kids. He says that “he lives through them.” He enjoys watching them, “how cool they are.”
He reads God’s word, and from there, he got into writing poetry. “God introduced me to my real self. We all wear masks, tons of masks on.”
Christopher is dating a young lady now named Akisha that he met in December. “God has blessed me with good people,” he said.
In June of this year, Christopher was hospitalized because both of his legs were swollen. At first, they thought Christopher had lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. He spent 24 days in the hospital in Chicago and racked up a bill of close to $200,000. He was questioning God, “Why did you throw this at me?” Akisha said to him, “Christopher, you won’t deal with this alone; I’m not going anywhere.”
The hospital waived all of his medical expenses. Now, he wants to help others who might themselves in the same boat as he did. He wants to start a non-profit organization, Music for Medicine, that will take donations for this purpose. “I want to give someone the gift that was given to me,” he said.
Christopher continued, “I was dirt poor and impoverished, my financial state, but rich in every other area of my life. I’m grateful for what God has given me. Sometimes you have to go through the worst time in life in order to feel good. With music, you can find the pure, authentic, enthusiastic part of you, where God exists. That’s where you find your true self.”
Last year, Christopher organized a concert at the Boys and Girls Club. Kids received free pizza, stockings, and gifts. His love for kids is leading him to do a second show on Saturday, November 10th, again at the Club.
Christopher also plans on shooting a video in Kenosha on October 21st.
His first CD is called “Matters of the Heart (MOTH).” He plans on producing a trilogy. The first focuses on Pain, the second on Transition, and the third on Triumph.
Click here to watch and listen to a video of one of the songs from Christopher’s first CD:
Here is the CD cover from Christopher’s first album:
Watch for more details on this young man and the difference he wants to make in his community through his music.