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Elvis show to help couple with medical costs
1030Royals
Friends of Jackie Royal, left, and her husband, Lambert, are raising money for the couple.

Fundraiser for Jackie and Lambert Royal

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Harbor Lights, 9420 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

How much: $15 per person, includes all-you-can-eat buffet

More info: Susan Rettig, 770-654-8870

Jackie and Lambert Royal have helped people in the Gainesville community for most of their lives, and now they need a little help themselves.

The Royals both have been diagnosed with cancer and currently are going through cancer treatments.

So, friend and colleague Susan Rettig coordinated a fundraiser for the couple to help with living expenses.

"I do know you can never have too much when you have medical bills from two different people needing medical supplies, transportation," said Rettig, event coordinator and president of American Business Women’s Association, Lake Lanier Charter Chapter.

"I couldn’t even fathom; I couldn’t even imagine. So I just hope we can help them in some way."

The benefit will be at Harbor Lights, formerly the Lantern Inn, and will have a special appearance by Elvis.

"I think the big draw is going to be that Mike Jones, the old Elvis from years ago, is going to come out and do a show," Rettig said. "It is family friendly."

With the $15 ticket, guests can enjoy a live performance and an all-you-can-eat buffet at the nonalcoholic event.

"I’ve already sold about 30 tickets," Rettig said. "I just mentioned it in church and was bombarded. People are giving donations. ... The money that we are raising is not just ticket sales, so that’s good. We just want it to be a huge success."

Rettig and Jackie Royal met through the American Business Women’s Association several years ago.

"When I first joined ABWA, she (Jackie) was a member," Rettig said.

"I think she was actually vice president and then the next year she became president, and that’s the way I met her. She was the one that was there with the big smile and the welcome, and she’s just a wonderful person."

Joanna Royal, one of the three Royal daughters, said her mother and father are her heroes, even through this tough time.

"She (Jackie) just has an amazing attitude and her faith has definitely gotten her through this," said Royal, who works at Crown Ministries in Gainesville. "Her reliance on God has really gotten her, the whole family, through this."

Jackie and Lambert attend Lanier Hills Church and formerly attended Trinity Presbyterian. This is the second bout with cancer for Jackie and the first for Lambert.

"About 17 years ago my mother had breast cancer, and about four years ago she found a lump in her neck," Joanna said. "We found out it was the original breast cancer that really just never went away. Her previous doctor had missed it for 13 years; she had gone for mammograms, checkups — they just missed it.

"She seems to be doing OK on the treatment. She usually has treatment once a week for about three weeks and then a week off."

As for Lambert, he is suffering from stage three advanced multiple myeloma.

"It’s the type of cancer that attacks the bone marrow and the plasma," said Joanna, of her father who is a retired teacher. "In June he started on chemo, and he hasn’t been responding to chemo that well; he’s been in the hospital twice already.

"I really appreciate what ABWA has done. Usually on Wednesdays or Thursdays some of them come to my office and bring me food or money to take to them and I was just surprised."

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