Friends and loved ones are rallying behind a former Cape Coral Civic Association president and his family following a recent diagnosis of cancer.
Cape resident Ed Prince was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in March. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in bone marrow. According to the Mayo Clinic web site, plasma cells normally make proteins called antibodies to help fight off infections.
In multiple myeloma, a group of plasma cells - or myeloma cells - becomes cancerous and multiplies, raising the number of plasma cells to a higher than normal level. Since the cells normally make proteins or antibodies, the level of abnormal proteins in a patient's blood also may go up.
It can cause health problems with one's bones, immune system, kidneys and red blood cell count.
According to a benefit web site created for Prince, his cancer has affected all of the target areas. As a result, he suffered kidney failure and is currently receiving chemotherapy and dialysis treatments.
A husband and father, Prince is a long-time inspector for the city. He has had to go on medical leave while fighting the disease, and he also has had to step down as the 2013-2014 president of civic.
"They're just really good people," Janis Keim, a friend of Prince and his wife, Linda, said.
She and others have been organizing fundraisers to assist with the family's expenses.
"It's just a group of friends doing what they can to help out," Keim said.
On July 4, the group set up a tent at Red, White & BOOM.
"We sold water, and we did a $500 giveaway for people to buy raffles for," she said.
The winner of the raffle donated the funds back to the cause.
"It worked out great. We raised over $1,300," Keim said.
A week later, the group held a fundraiser at Rockade with food and drink specials.
"We did some Chinese auctions," she said. "We did a 50/50 raffle."
Approximately 150 people turned out for the event.
"We had a great turnout," Keim said. "We raised about $1,800."
Another fundraiser at Rockade is planned for Aug. 22.
"Probably a 50/50 (raffle) and auction items again," she said.
One of the bigger events scheduled is the FIRE & ICE Fireman Bachelor's Auction, which will take place on Sept. 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Dixie Roadhouse. An after party will follow the fundraiser.
Max Dean, who is organizing the event, said there will be 10 bachelors up for grabs.
"They're all firefighters," she said. "Each fireman comes with a date package."
The packages come with dinner and tickets to the theater, on a cruise, for parasailing and more.
"It's just all kinds of different stuff," Dean said.
A silent auction will also be held, with the items ranging from jewelry and art, to gift certificates.
Tickets for the fundraiser cost $25 per person and include a bidding paddle, two free drink tickets and hors d'oeuvres. Tickets to the FIRE & ICE Fireman Bachelor's Auction will go on sale Monday.
Those interested in attending only the after party can get into Dixie for $10 per person.
The Pink Heals fire truck will also be on site.
Keim noted that the initial goal was to raise $10,000 to help the family.
"The goal is definitely now over $10,000," she said.
"We are continually looking for (donated) door prizes and stuff like that," Keim added.
For a raffle drawing to be held Oct. 3 at the Dixie, the group is selling 1,000 tickets at $10 each. The prizes are a 50-inch television donated by Dixie, a two-night stay at the DiamondHead Beach Resort & Spa and a half-day fishing charter for two people with the "Chew On This" Saltwater Fishing Show.
"We're going to have some auction items at that event, as well," she said of October.
Those who cannot attend a fundraiser but still want to make a donation to the Prince family can do so through any BB&T Bank branch by using the Paul or Ed Prince account - No. 243275172.
People can also donate online at: www.youcaring.com by searching for "Ed Prince."
Ed and Linda Prince, who have served the Cape community for several years by volunteering and serving on numerous boards and committees, are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support.
"I think they just can't believe the amount of support they got," Keim said, adding that the couple are not the type to step forward quickly and ask for assistance. "I think that they are in shock."
For more information, visit the benefit web site online at: www.facebook.com/edprincebenefits.