Rapper and actor LL Cool J has been in the entertainment business since 1984 with a string of hits, awards, movies, TV shows and more under his belt. Many people can recite some of his lyrics and lines, awards and maybe even his favorite workout or foods, but most don’t know much about his wife, Simone Smith. With the launch of her jewelry line called SIS (Simone I. Smith) Jewelry, this mother of four is an entrepreneur and a cancer survivor.
Now the couple has joined forces on a new campaign with the American Cancer Society. The message is near and dear to them—”Beat Cancer Like a Boss.”
In the 30-second public service announcement, LL Cool J addresses the disease head on.
“How did my wife Simone beat cancer? Like a boss,” he says at beginning of the video.
In 2004, Simone was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer called chondrosarcoma. After her stage III diagnosis, the family, especially Mr. “Cool J” himself, stopped everything in order to be with her and to assist her on the road to recovery.
In her own words, Simone says, “I was absolutely devastated. I probably cried for about 10 days on and off because I didn’t believe this was happening to me.”
“I have a piece of jewelry, that when it’s purchased, proceeds go towards the American Cancer Society. The reason why I did that is because back in 2004, I had a very invasive surgery done because they found a chondrosarcoma tumor in my tibia bone. So I had an invasive surgery called microvascular reconstructive surgery, and they had to remove my whole tibia bone and replace it with my fibular bone from my left leg. It took me almost 2 1/2 years to learn how to walk again. “
The Christian Post reports that Smith overcame her cancer with a lot of prayer. Smith explained, “I fought through it, so I was a little depressed for like about…two weeks…but my grandmother called me up and told me, ‘you better not be depressed and get prayed up for those doctors who are doing this surgery on you and you’re gonna beat this.’ So I prayed to God and since then my test results have been great. I praise God every day.” As of 2013, Smith said she has been cancer-free.
Chondrosarcoma is a type of sarcoma that affects the bones and joints. It is a rare cancer that accounts for about 20% of bone tumors and is diagnosed in approximately 600 patients each year in the United States. Chondrosarcoma typically affects adults between the age of 20 and 60 years old, and it is more common in men. The disease usually starts in the bones of the arms, legs or pelvis, but it can be found in any part of the body that contains cartilage. Sometimes chondrosarcoma grows on an otherwise healthy bone, and sometimes it grows on a benign bone tumor (an enchondroma or osteochondroma).
As with many cancers, the cause of chondrosarcoma is not clear. However, people with certain medical conditions have an increased risk of developing chondrosarcoma. These conditions include:
Multiple Hereditary Exostoses (MHE, a.k.a., osteochondromatoses)
Diseases in children that required previous treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy
Simone teamed up with the American Cancer Society to introduce “A Sweet Touch of Hope.” This stylish lollipop pendant will help raise funds and awareness to help save more lives from cancer, a disease that affects everyone in some way.