Nelly's sister died this morning (24MAR05) after a long battle with leukaemia. She was 31.

JACQUELINE DONAHUE had been diagnosed with the disease in March 2001. The cancer was in remission for nearly two years before she suffered a relapse, prompting rapper Nelly to arrange a number of bone marrow drives.

In March 2003, Nelly and his sister formed a campaign called JESUS 4 JACKIE to find donors for Donahue and others, and to raise awareness about bone marrow donations. Despite their efforts, a match was never found.

Donahue's family say in a statement they are "deeply saddened" by her death and offer their thanks for those who had supported her and the bone marrow drives.

A statement reads, "We are very proud of her efforts to educate and raise awareness about the disease and the need for African-Americans to join the National Donor Registry.

"She will always be remembered for her loving spirit, energy and unshakable faith."

24/03/2005 21:38