In 2004, Simone learned she developed a rare bone cancer called chondrosarcoma, and is now in remission. “She underwent a 15-hour surgery, which led to her having her right tibia removed and replaced with her left fibula, a still rod, screws, nails and micro veins from her other leg,” MSN writes.
“I was working out with my trainer, walking, talking, not paying no mind, walked into the waste basket and it hit that little knot. That sent me to the doctor, and that’s when I found out I had a chondrosarcoma stage three tumor in my right tibia bone,” Simone told Entertainment Tonight.
“I remember sitting in the doctor’s office, and he [Cool J] wanted to give his fibula bone… because he felt that his fibula bone would be bigger and stronger.”
LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) also made sure that any visitors coming to see his wife post-surgery were full of “positive energy.”
Simone said: “Todd would tell them… ‘You can’t go in there crying.”
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The couple have now teamed with the American Cancer Society for a new project which aims to empower people battling the disease.
“The campaign is Beat Cancer Like a Boss, and when it comes to that, she’s definitely been a boss,” the hip-hop star said in an interview with ET. “I think that so many people, if you can inspire others to learn more, dream more, do more, that’s being a boss and that’s why we did this campaign for the American Cancer Society and for Simone Smith.”
Reflecting on the couple’s experience, the “NCIS: Los Angeles star” star confessed that faith helped him get through the rough patch.
“I learned that you got to be grateful, and you can’t take things for granted,” he considered. “I learned that left turns could come, right turns could come. You can’t always see around every corner, but you just have to have faith and you have to have gratitude… I believe in God strongly, and you got to believe in yourself too.”
Simone also noted what she hopes cancer sufferers to take away from the campaign.
“Have faith. Find your inner strength. Be confident,” she concluded.
Scroll up and watch the campaign via the clip above.