Community turns out to support Jeff Royall

July 14, 2013

People from Hamptonville and across the area came out July 13 to help raise money for cancer patient Jeff Royall.

The show of support was held at the West Yadkin Fire Department and was aimed at helping Royall pay for his treatments as he prepares for round three of his chemotherapy.

Royall was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver and colon cancer on June 3 after going to Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital for a self-diagnosed kidney stone.

“While I was there they did the sonogram to make sure that I was correct, but they also found liver legions which was compatible with metastasizing from another cancer. We did the test and did a liver biopsy, and sure enough it came back malignant,” Royall said.

A colonoscopy revealed there was also a tumor in his colon.

“So they did the colonoscopy, and I found out that if you have liver cancer there’s always normally a hidden cancer somewhere else,” he said. “I got all of that news on June 3 of this year.”

The fundraiser ran from 4-8 p.m. at the fire department and gave the community a way to help Royall deal with his disease.

“Today we have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of friends, family, the community, loved ones, (and) the band. … I’m just really humbled by the community support,” Royall said. “Cancer doesn’t just affect you; it affects everybody around you. It’s something we all have to fight on a daily basis.”

The band Royall referred to is called Rhythm and includes some Surry County law enforcement officers. They began performing at 4:30 p.m. and entertained the crowd while they played cornhole, ate, or got their faces painted.

Pintos, cornbread, “all the southern ‘fixins’ that go with it,” beef brisket, and desserts were available for a donation Royall said.

The parking lot was filled, and cars lined Highway 21 as well-wishers came to buy plates and make donations. Many wore t-shirts designed to show support for Royall.

The money donated is going toward Royall’s medical bills after his medical leave runs out from his employer, which is the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

“I have 480 hours that was donated of sick time left,” Royall said. “That sounds like a lot; it’s good for two and a half months, and I’m very appreciative of getting that. But at that point income will drop to nothing and … I’ll have to start paying medical insurance and things like that myself. So [the donations] are going to be for medical expenses and insurance.”

Other events will be held at later dates, and Royall is in the process of setting up a trust for supporters to donate if they want to donate directly.

“Their prognosis for this disease is not a good one,” Royall said. “I’m not going to be a statistic.”

To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.