Nelly Saves Eight Lives, Says New Album Coming In 2007

 Nelly may have his critics, but there are eight people who can thank their lives for him--literally.

Three years ago, the St. Louis rapper founded a nonprofit named Jes Us 4 Jackie with his sister Jackie Donahue, who was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in March 2001.

The foundation was launched as a way to raise awareness about the disease and to find a possible bone marrow donor for Donahue, who passed away in March 2005 after her leukemia came out of remission.

Death rates from leukemia, which is a cancer of the white blood cells, are highest amongst African-Americans.

"We are still pushing. We've been able to find eight different matches and we were able to save eight different lives," Nelly said. "You can say what you want about Nelly, but Nelly has saved eight different lives and I don't know anybody that's done that."

Jes Us 4 Jackie found matches for various children and adults within the first two years of operation.

The latest success story for the foundation involves a young lady in California. Nelly's aunt Chalena Mack, who coincidentally runs the foundation, was found to be an exact match.

"She's [Mack] is ecstatic about it," Nelly said. "Hopefully that's number nine. Even though we didn't find a match for my sister, we are trying to send a message that it's bigger than any one person."

Nelly, who duets with Janet Jackson on her single "Call On Me," is also preparing his as-yet-untitled follow-up to the 2004 double disc Sweat/Suit.

Sweat debuted at No.1 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart, while Suit landed at No. 2 the same day.

"My album is going to come out next year, probably third or fourth quarter," Nelly said. "I want to make sure everything is right."

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Source: AHH