Community rallies behind wife of popular Elvis performer suffering from rare tumor

LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas community is coming together in a big way to support the wife of a popular long-time Elvis performer.

Matt Lewis says his wife Janell is suffering from a rare tumor and needs urgent surgery.

Lewis performed as on The Strip for nearly 15 years. That’s where he met Janell who was a showgirl at the time.

"It was a ‘showmance’ I guess they say, but it stuck," Matt said.

The two got married, and he promised to take care of her in sickness and in health. Matt is sticking to his word, and many in town are helping him with that promise.

The couple hit some bad luck in the last month when doctors diagnosed Janell with Pheochromocytoma.

"It's a very rare tumor that grows inside the adrenal gland," Matt said. 

Days after the diagnosis the tumor caused a huge spike in her blood pressure and Janell had a stroke.

"It's crazy because one minute I'll be feeling fine and then the next minute my heart is pounding and I’m shaking," Janell said. 

Janell now needs surgery from a specialist. Due to a technicality with their insurance, the surgery isn't covered. The couple hasn't let that stop them.

Thanks to friends, family, and even strangers they've managed to raise nearly $150,000 on GoFundMe in only four days.

Matt says he is amazed at the outpouring of support.

"By the afternoon we were up to 30, 40, $50,000 and in less than two days we were at over $100,000,” Matt said. 

Janell says it's been rough, but she’s staying optimistic especially seeing the strong backing from the community.

"I've taken the time to look at every single name on the donation list and every time I look at a name I send that person so much gratitude," Janell said. 

Matt has been by his wife's side every step of the way and is staying strong for Janell and their two young kids.

As an Elvis performer, Matt says he can't help but have of one of the King's greatest songs in mind when thinking about his wife.

“'I can't help falling in love with you' because the love that we share is not something that we have to try," Matt said. 

Janell is expected to be airlifted to California for a major operation this week in which to remove the tumor.

Matt is praying for the best and hopes a bit of luck can help too.

"We're almost there so when that happens then that's when I'm really going to be able to relax," Matt said. 

The family is still working to reach their goal of $250,000 before the surgery.

If you'd like to help, click here to visit to the GoFundMe page


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