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Cancer and The King

Suzanne Gauthier has been a lifelong Elvis fan. The King's face is on her throw blanket and she has a puzzle of him nearby. She listens to his music day in and day out and even dreams of him when she sleeps.
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Suzanne Gauthier is a huge fan of the King of rock 'n' roll and she was treated to an intimate performance by Elvis (AKA local Elvis tribute artist, Brad Rose) on Dec. 12. The palliative-care patient undergoes surgery today, so her sister, Roberte Cunningham, arranged the happy experience as a special pre-operative treat. Photo by Jenny Jelen.

Suzanne Gauthier has been a lifelong Elvis fan.

The King's face is on her throw blanket and she has a puzzle of him nearby. She listens to his music day in and day out and even dreams of him when she sleeps.

It's easy to imagine her delight when she was greeted by the legend himself — or at least, the next best thing — this week.

On Dec. 12, the palliative care patient, who is living in her sister Roberte Cunningham's home, was treated to an intimate performance by local Elvis tribute artist, Brad Rose.

Gauthier is battling rectal cancer that has spread to her liver. Scheduled to undergo a colostomy, Cunningham arranged for the one-in-one show to raise her sister's spirits before the operation.

Her plan did what it was intended to do.

“She didn't know what to say or do,” Cunningham said, recalling the smile on Gauthier's face.

As soon as she saw her favourite artist, Gauthier's hands covered her mouth and she even got a touch teary. Rose played about a dozen favourites, and even brought Gauthier a teddy bear, fitting as Teddy Bear happens to be Gauthier's favourite Elvis tune.

“He made it so personal for her,” Cunningham said. “He's such a caring soul.”


Cunningham said it was important for her sister to be feeling good and happy prior to the procedure.

“We wanted her to be in a good mood,” Cunningham said. “We try to make her as happy as we can.”



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