Washington, D.C. group Pray at the Pump Movement will hold a vigil for Aretha Franklin outside the White House on Thursday as she reportedly battles pancreatic cancer — the same cancer Patrick Swayze battled for years.
“Aretha has done a lot of concerts at the White House during her life, so we thought it was the right place to do something to promote hope,” said Rocky Twyman, director of PAPM. “We wanted to do something big, and the White House is visited by a lot of people around the world.”
The vigil will start at 1 p.m. today on the north side of the White House. “Hopefully, this will give her some strength to keep on fighting,” Twyman said.
The 68-year-old Queen of Soul had canceled all concert dates last month and sources close to Franklin said she was battling pancreatic cancer, although she has not confirmed it. She had surgery recently and released a statement saying it was “highly successful.”
Her longtime friend, the Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Aretha Franklin and told the Associated Press that her “spirits are high, and her faith is strong.”