“DREAM said, “I cost too much and not everyone thinks I’m worth the price.
They’ll envy you,
Las Vegas
But they wouldn’t gamble on my life…”

…I wrote this a intro to a life poem I’ve been working on (which will become a tattoo… eventually) I was diagnosed with Bone Cancer May 1996. It seems like only yesterday I was running and jumping, playing on the playground with my 5th grade classmates.

My name is Jerrell Grimes. (my legal name is Aaron J. Hampton)

After a growing mass on my right knee became unbearable – and before I could explain to my mother what I had been hiding, it …this thing, overpowered me.

I remember walking to school one day back in May ’96 and out of nowhere, I fell to the ground. I couldn’t walk and I remember feeling helpless and scared. I made my way back home where my mother was just about to leave for work. Instead she called the local walk-in clinic and suggested I be seen immediately, after she had discovered this mass, the size of a baseball, on my right knee.

After being seen, the doctor was still unaware of what the mass was and I needed a surgical procedure to provide more information. I had a biopsy at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, after being seen and transferred by Newport Hospital, in Newport, Rhode Island.

I was diagnosed with Bone Cancer and was immediately rushed to treatment as the cancer had begun to destruct my femur. I remember my first 14 hour surgery where they removed the infected bone and replaced it with metal rods, pins and screws – in conjunction with cadeaver bone.

I recall multiple blood transfusions as well.
The cadeaver bone never mended or healed thus causing an infection – where the once healed wound, reopened and needed another procedure to cure the infection and again begin to heal the new bone, which doctors took from my ankle this time.

After years of crutches (2.5 years consecutively), intense physical therapy, long hospital stays and more, I began to learn how to walk again.

This time due to the fragile state of my bones, my leg began to bow out causing me great pain every step. Upon discovery via XRay and labs, my doctor discovered another infection had formed.

At this time I was in my 20’s and had enough of this experience. I transferred my medical records to another surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital where a newer groundbreaking procedure was performed: my entire right femur was replaced with a metal rod and a contraption that enables new bone growth everytime I take a step.

It’s been over 7 years since I had that surgery and I am moving along well.

Though surviving cancer has not been easy at all, I am grateful to be alive today doing what I love. I graduated from High School on time in 2003, I was a first generation college student, I’ve written and published 3 of my own books. I’ve also written and recorded an EP – 8 songs (Hip Hop + RnB) – in addition I’ve published other authors under my media imprint, Ten19 Media Group….and more.

Going back to what I said in the beginning:

DREAM said, “I cost too much
and not everyone thinks I’m worth the price.

They’ll envy you,
Las Vegas

But they wouldn’t gamble on my life.”

…Cancer taught me that sometimes life will be a fight. And just because you have to fight doesn’t mean you can’t win. You must believe. And with belief comes action. You must act on your belief…

What we’ve all got to understand is that we all will have our own fight, be grateful for the lessons that life teaches. Take those lessons and use them to ‘fight’ your way to the top.

Now as a recording Artist, poet, and entrepreneur my goal is to 1. Be a voice and figure in the media world for men and women, boys + girls who look, sound, live or act as I do/have , 2. To let cancer survivors (and patients) know that we CAN live, 3. Help others tell their unique stories., 4. To LIVE my dream of performing and traveling the world with my story, my art.