CRESTVIEW — Bruce Akers’ family seeks help raising funds for his recovery from bladder cancer.


CRESTVIEW — Bruce Akers’ family seeks help raising funds for his recovery from bladder cancer.



Bruce, 49, recently returned home following a stay at Baptist Health Care in Pensacola, where he had his bladder removed. He will begin chemotherapy soon.



"He is handling it fairly well; he has his good days and his bad days" said Rachel Akers, his eldest daughter.



Family members will have a benefit fish fry, featuring a raffle of gift certificates from Crestview businesses, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at Old Spanish Trail Park. Residents can purchase a plate of fried mullet with a side of coleslaw and hush puppies. Organizers can deliver meals to local businesses. 



All proceeds will cover medical expenses and financial obligations of Bruce and Karen, his wife of 29 years.



Bruce had to quit his job at Ace Hardware in Crestview, Rachel said. Last month, the store hosted a car wash to show support. The family also raised money by having a bake sale in town.



"It has been hard on us,” said Karen, Bruce’s caretaker. She has been unable to work since having a stroke in 2010. 



The couple, who lost their Baker home to foreclosure last year, are staying with Rachel at her Crestview residence.



Karen’s 71-year-old mother, Bobbie Richards, has also helped, lending her car for driving Bruce to doctor visits since the couple’s truck has been unreliable.



Bruce just received Medicaid eligibility; benefits will cover a portion of the costs, Karen said.



Still, the illness has taken its toll on daughter Kristen Cahill's children, Jazmine, 10, and 1-year-old J.T.



 Both grandchildren are very close with their grandparents, especially Jazmine, who was "devastated" upon learning her grandfather was sick, Cahill said.



Cahill, who considers her father her best friend, said she plans to have future fundraising events.   



Residents can donate to a special fund in Rachel Akers’ name for Bruce Akers’ benefit at each Okaloosa County Federal Credit Union in Okaloosa county.



For more information on credit union times and locations, visit http://bit.ly/143ZdxD.



WHAT:Fish fry benefiting Bruce Akers



WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17



WHERE: Old Spanish Trail Park on Stillwell Boulevard in Crestview



COST: $6 for a plate of fried mullet with a side of coleslaw and hush puppies



CONTACT: Amanda Odom, 259-2290



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.