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Ex-'American Idol hopeful Josiah Leming's mother loses cancer battle

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/18/2009 

Sharon Denise Leming, the mother of former seventh-season American Idol contestant Josiah Leming, died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.  She was 41.

Sharon was diagnosed with ovarian leiomyosarcoma in October 2000 before succumbing to the disease while at U.T. Medical Center in Knoxville, TN,  The Citizen Tribune -- the newspaper in the Lemings' hometown of Morristown, TN -- reported Thursday.

In her blog -- titled "My Life with Cancer" -- Sharon estimated she underwent "17 surgeries, 55 radiation treatments, 6 cycles of Gemzar/Taxotere, 1 cycle of AIM, 3 cycles of Adriamycin and 6 cycles of Yondelis" to cure the cancer.

"To all my friends: I just wanted to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and kindness. Mom fought this for a long time, [and] passed away on Tuesday, June 16th surrounded by her family and loved ones," Josiah said in a statement released to MTV News late Wednesday night.

"She had aggressive leiomyosarcoma and she fought it for 10 years. ... I know many of you got to know my mom through her postings, and we all thank you for sharing in her life and story. Now my family needs time to be together, and mourn in private."

The last post in Sharon's blog was dated Monday.

"Dear Friends, A short post to let you know that Sharon was admitted to ICU at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, TN on Sunday, June 14," reads the entry.  "Please pray! Thanks!"

Josiah made it to Idol's seven-season Hollywood Week but was eliminated from the show when the judges whittled the competition down to the season's Top 24 semifinalists. 

Despite the ouster, he was able to land a major label record deal with Warner Bros. Records only a month after the show's February broadcast of his elimination.

Sharon is survived by her husband Donald Leming, Jr. and nine children -- including Josiah.

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