STRATFORD - A benefit event will be held Tuesday to help raise money for a Stratford man battling cancer.

After Ned Gerard was diagnosed with leukemia, his longtime friends Dave Schneider and Mike Daly did not hesitate when it came to lending a helping hand.

Schneider first came up with the idea for the event, which is being called Fightin' Back "Friends of Ned Gerard."

The night will feature live music from bands such as Schneider's The Zambonis. A silent auction will also be held, where sports tickets, a rare Beatles album cover, a signed print from Dalton Ghetti and a Gibson guitar are among the items up for grabs.

Gerard says he hesitated at first when approached about the event because he does not like to be in the spotlight, but that did not stop his dedicated friends from going forward with it.

Gerard is a photographer who has been with the Connecticut Post for more than 20 years. Chemotherapy, radiation and a stem cell transplant have kept him out of work since last December.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport.