All of us who lived through the Nineties and care about music know and love Andre "Doctor Dre" Brown. He has made his mark on radio and television, in the movies and in print, working successively as a recording artist (as a founding member of Def Jam's Original Concept), hip-hop DJ (he was the Beastie Boys's DJ during the Raising Hell Tour in 1986) , composer, talent scout, on-air personality, actor, author, and critic. He's undoubtedly best-known as the co-host with Ed Lover of "Yo! MTV Raps" (1989-1995), the tv show that did more than any other to make rap music and hip-hop culture global phenomena. After "Yo!", Dre and Ed duo funneled their chemistry into major market radio. They held down the morning show on New York's Hot 97 (1993-1998), then on L.A.'s The Beat (2000-2001), and finally on New York's Power 105 (2003-2006).
What's less well known is that Dre has been struggling with the effects of advanced Type II diabetes for a long time. Dre's announcement that the illness had robbed him of his eyesight was one of the ways he's gone on to "wag[e] a public battle with diabetes" -- as a story in the New York Times described his efforts in 2016.
Now, sadly, Dre's condition has taken a turn for the worse. On Memorial Day of this year, he slipped and fell down a flight of stairs at his home and badly damaged his right ankle. The diabetes had already caused a serious decline in the function of that ankle, but this new injury required hospitalization and surgery. On June 17, his foot was amputated. On June 24, his right leg was amputated up to the knee. He has since been fitted with a prosthetic, and is now learning how to walk with it. If the good Doctor remains true to his unsinkable form, he may someday be running marathons using that prosthetic.
In the meanwhile, Dre needs to continue recovering. He left the hospital on July 1 and has been living at a rehab center since then. Just where he and his wife end up afterwards is still being decided. Their current house doesn't accommodate someone with Dre's health issues. They plan to buy a new house that works for Dre today, one with all the facilities on one floor, no stairs, ramps for a wheelchair, and wide-access doors.
Given all of Dre's high-profile achievements, you might imagine that he had all the money he needs to pay for his care, but diabetes cut short his career nearly 15 years ago. Likewise, it's been a full ten years since he lost his eyesight. Dre's insurance stopped paying for his stay in the rehab center on July 20. When he leaves the rehab center for home, he'll require both a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, neither of whose fees will be fully covered by insurance.
Bottom line: the great man needs help to move on to the next stage of his life. Please help us help him. Thank you. #DoctorDrethefighback
*Cover photo of Doctor Dre. by David Gonzalez, 2016
*All donation comments and responses are managed by Doctor Dre, his daughter Angelique Brown, and family. The responses are directly from Doctor Dre!
*Please use the hashtag #DoctorDrethefighback and share the Go Fund Me via social media!
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