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J Dillas Mother Pays Tribute To Son Attends Event

Posted on May 15, 2006 by

  
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Maureen Yancey, the mother of the late hiphop producer J Dilla, arrived with Hustle & Flow's Taraji P. Henson at a star studded benefit last night, organized to raise money for Lupus L.A., an organization formed six years ago by Daniel Wallace, MD, one of the country’s most prominent Lupus specialists. The event was held to raise money for research through the Lupus Institute. Mrs. Yancey’s son, the beloved hiphop producer, J Dilla, passed away on February 10, as a result of his battle with Lupus. Despite Dilla’s illness, he still managed to produce successful records, and he never lost his dedication to hiphop. Mrs. Yancey is urging hiphop fans to get involved in the quest for a cure.

Also at the evening's event, billed as “An Evening of Love, Light and Laughter,” were luminaries including actress Sharon Stone, Jason Alexander, and Omar Epps from the Fox Network’s Golden Globe winner television show “House.” Epps presented an award to the show’s Creator/Executive producer David Shore for his contribution to Lupus Awareness. Other honorees of the evening included some of the doctors who have been in the frontlines of the war against the illness, which as yet still has no cure.

Also attending were Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys and actress Kelly Stone, both of whom lost a sister to the illness. Malcolm Jamal Warner, Wayne Newton, Shari Belafonte and Scott Grimes were among the many other stars that attended to offertheir support.

As part of the proceedings, Glenn Frey of the Eagles performed at the event. The Eagles’ greatest hits album is the highest selling album of all time. Ms. Yancey says she hopes that hiphop artists will also lend their talents to help raise money for a cure, and that some of them have already contacted her, offering to get involved.

Lupus is one of the country’s most prevalent, unpredictable and potentially fatal diseases. It affects over two million Americans, most of whom are women. It is very difficult to diagnose. Lupus is a leading cause of stroke, kidney and premature cardiovascular disease in young women.

Mrs. Yancey says she fears that too many men may get diagnosed too late, thinking it could not happen to them. The illness is three times more likely to strike black women than white women.

Ms. Yancey states that her son had told her that he planned to commit himself to making more people aware of the illness, but tragically, he never had that chance. She urges people in the hiphop community to get involved, and to also make sure they don’t have the illness, themselves. “Everyone’s case is different,” she points out, “and therefore, too many people may not realize they have it until it is too late.”

She adds, “It is time for people to get involved.” In addition to helping save lives, it is a meaningful way to pay tribute to one of hiphop’s prolific producers.

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