My Daughter’s Battle with Leukemia

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“Maybe this happened to me so I can be a blessing to someone else.”

Less than a month after being diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of Leukemia, these were the words my beautiful daughter Essence uttered to me. I remember marveling at her strength then, and continue to do so today as she preps for yet another round (her third) of chemotherapy.

I share my story, my daughter’s story, because as Essence said, maybe it will be a blessing to someone else.
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Jazz Legend Etta James Passes On

Blues singer Etta James, 73, has lost her battle with leukemia. According to friend and manager Lupe De Leon, James, who was diagnose with the disease last year, passed away peacefully this morning at Riverside Community Hospital, surrounded by her husband and two sons.

Etta James was a gospel and jazz prodigy, whose career spanned some 50 years. She is best known for her hit single “At Last,” which resurfaced on the charts in 2009 (49 years after it was originally released) after singer Beyonce Knowles performed it for President Barack Obama and wife Michelle at their Inaugural Ball.

Before her leukemia diagnosis, James was a regular on the touring circuit and was known to put on a great show, despite her advanced age.

British singer Adele, who lists James and Aretha Franklin as her inspirations, told Billboard in a recent interview that “If you were to look up the word singer in the dictionary, you would see Etta’s name there.”

A tweet from the Grammys official twitter page, alludes to a tribute being planned for the singer at this year’s show.

The family has yet to release details about the funeral or possible public memorial.

R.I.P Miss Etta. You were an original.