Concert benefits local man

Published 7:02 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Southern Legends’ Opry is hosting a benefit Saturday for Chuck Shepherd who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005.

Judy “Buddy” Manning, a member of Southern Legends’ Band and one who is organizing the benefit said she grew up with Chuck’s mother, Suzy Shepherd.

“I’ve known the children growing up, and I’m in the band, so we started talking,” Manning said. “My band is older people, so we don’t have to have the band as income, and we’ve played the Hank Williams Festival every year, benefits for Greenville High School, so we are accustom to giving back to the community.”

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According to Suzy, after Chuck was diagnosed with a golf ball-sized brain tumor, he prepared for a 24-hour surgery, but the brain started to swell during the surgery forcing doctors to stop. Half of the tumor was left in the brain.

“He was able to return to work, but the surgery caused a total loss of hearing in his right ear and loud ringing in his ears and caused a balance problem,” Suzy said.

In December of 2010, Chuck started experiencing symptoms again and doctors found that the brain tumor was growing. He went through five treatments of radiation in five days.

“After radiation, the MRI showed the radiation had killed a nerve that went through the tumor, but had not yet killed the tumor,” Shepherd said. “Surgery is out of the question as it may cause more brain damage.”

Presently, Chuck is undergoing more tests in Birmingham and Montgomery.

The benefit is to help Chuck pay for medical expenses and ease the financial situation with his family since he has been out of work since December 2010.

“He can’t hold a job, and it’s been a hardship financially on him and his wife,” Manning said. “We may not raise a whole lot, but a little bit is better than none.”

The list of bands include, a GA-ANA gospel pre-show of Stanley and Diane Bullock, Betty Jean Craig and Aaron Ledbetter, and the Southern Legends’ Opry, which include Greg Bowden, Randall Cauthen, Manning, Edna “ET” Thomas and Leroy Thomas. Special guests include Vinny D’Amico, Johnny Miller and Gage Smith.

“Even through all the bad, he has a wonderful attitude and never complains,” Suzy said. “He is so thankful for all the cards, prayers and many thoughtful acts of kindness he has received.”

Manning said with the downturn of the economy, if everybody doesn’t help everybody, it’s going to be a mess.

“There’s so many needy people, and it’s just the civic thing to do, the Christian thing to do, and do unto others and they do unto us,” Manning said. “It may be me or you that something like this happens to and doing our part in the community is civic minded. We’re hoping this is the catalyst so someone else, either a donation with the church or civic club, will do a fundraiser and we’ll help.”

The event will be at GA-ANA Theatre from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and admission is $5.