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Singer scheduled to sing at cancer benefit gets news of dad's passing from disease

10/17/2013, 2:57 p.m.
Last week his father, Bishop Lavern Pringle Sr., who was in the hospital for a check-up on another health issue, ...
Desmond Pringle with his late dad, Bishop Lavern Pringle, Sr.

Gospel singer Desmond Pringle would have never imagined becoming a celebrity spokesman for Cancer Treatment Centers of America and spearheading its “Our Journey of Hope” concert series to create awareness of cancer prevention and treatment among the faith community.

Even more unimaginable is that cancer would suddenly touch Pringle’s family.

Last week his father, Bishop Lavern Pringle Sr., who was in the hospital for a check-up on another health issue, was thought to have a severe case of constipation. It turned out to be a malignant mass and he was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

The elder Pringle died five days later.

“We've got to herald the message of early detection, treatment, and the need for African Americans in particular to be proactively engaged in self care because my father was tending to everyone but himself,” said Pringle, adding that his father was from that generation that doesn’t go to doctors.

“We’re in a state of shock,” said Pringle. “This was totally unexpected because he was just diagnosed on Thursday and passed on Monday. He didn’t seem sick on the outside and was doing all of his regular things until this past week.

"He's representative of the husband, the father, the brother, the uncle, the son and friend who are being diagnosed too late in the game. It's horrible because he didn't have to die. So, a few days before my last Cancer Treatment Center concert of the year, I get this news and I’m going to push this message so that my father’s death is not in vain.”

Pringle headlines “A Night of Hope & Inspiration” concert on Friday, Oct. 18 @ 7 PM at West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles. A mass choir and the Victory Praise Dancers will back Pringle. Aside from Percy McCray hosting, Psalmist Nikki Potts will perform and there will be a tribute to the late Bishop Walter Hawkins who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2010.

After the concert, Pringle takes a redeye to South Carolina for his father’s funeral Saturday, Oct. 19 @ 1:30 p.m. at the Royal Missionary Baptist Church, 4761 Luella Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405.