Actor David Spade reaches out to Minnesota boy with rare brain tumor

Ryder Clark is diagnosed with pilomyxoid astrocytoma, a rare form of cancerous brain tumor that develops only in pediatric patients.

Five-year-old Ryder Clark plays with his cousins at his home in Lakeland, Minn., on Friday, May 14, 2021. Craig Lassig / Special to the St. Paul Pioneer Press
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ST. PAUL -- Kim Clark found inspiration in an unlikely place when dealing with her 5-year-old son’s rare brain tumor.

The Lakeland, Minn., woman said a quote from the David Spade comedy “Joe Dirt” helped her through hard times after her son Ryder was diagnosed with pilomyxoid astrocytoma, a rare form of cancerous brain tumor that develops only in pediatric patients.

“It was, literally, ‘You gotta keep on keepin’ on,’” Clark told the Pioneer Press last month. “That was it. Every single day. Every single moment. When something is hard, it will end.”

Clark keeps a copy of the quote on her desk.


Spade read the Pioneer Press story about the Clarks and reached out earlier this week.

“I appreciate your situation,” Spade said in a video he shared with the family. “I know you’re having a rough time with Ryder. He sounds like a really cool kid, and you guys are doing your best. I just like that I read that you watch ‘Joe Dirt.’ I love that a lot of people react that way. It is inspirational. It is a big, goofy comedy, but it does have sort of a through line of faith and inspiration. I’m glad you saw that, and that it means something to you, and you keep on keepin’ on. It’s just the way it’s got to be. I do that in my everyday life, too. That’s why we wrote it. Good luck with everything, and keep me posted.”

Spade, who wore a shirt reading “Mr. Dirt” in the video, said that he would love to meet Ryder the next time he is in the Twin Cities. He also said he would send something with “Joe Dirt” on it for Ryder.

“It was very kind of him to take the time to reach out,” said Josh Clark, Kim’s husband. “We feel very blessed.”

Actor David Spade recorded a video for Ryder Clark, a Lakeland boy who has a rare brain tumor, in June 2021. Ryder’s mom, Kim, said this quote from Spade’s movie “Joe Dirt” helped her get through hard times: “You gotta keep on keepin’ on.” Courtesy of Kim Clark via St. Paul Pioneer Press

Kim Clark posted the video, which she called “super uplifting,” on her Facebook page.


“David Spade, you are pretty cool cat,” she wrote. “Thank you for your kindness and best wishes. I am sure that Ryder and our family would be honored to meet if you find yourself in the Midwest. We are definitely going to check out the new ‘Hotel Transylvania: Transformania’ coming in July. p.s. Ryder has a great sense of humor, so I think he will do what he does best and get you to smile.”

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