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Nelly's half-sister dies of leukemia, tour dates postponed

UPI News Service, 03/25/2005 

The half-sister of hip-hop star Nelly, has died of acute myelogenous leukemia at a St. Louis hospital.

Jackie Donahue was 31, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She died Thursday.

Nelly was on tour and flew Thursday to St. Louis to be with his family, canceling that night's show in Beaumont, Texas.

Donahue worked as Nelly's stylist until her illness forced her to leave that position. She later founded the Jes Us 4 Jackie foundation, which conducted a bone-marrow registry campaign through Nelly's nonprofit 4Sho4Kids foundation.

"There's a real lack of education. We're not aware of what's going on in medical fields," she said. "My point is to get as many people on the registry as possible."

Of nearly 5.5 million people who have registered with the National Marrow Donor Program, only 443,000 are African-American. About 1,700 people joined the National Marrow Donor Program through Jes Us 4 Jackie.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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