Fund-raiser for diabtetic former Yo! MTV Raps co-host

Doctor Dre, center, at the Men of Excellence Ceremony in Bedford-Stuyvesant in September. The event was the first public appearance Doctor Dre made in 2016.
Alonzo Boldin Zo Photography

A local meet and greet fund-raiser for famed former Yo! MTV Raps co-host Doctor Dre will be held in Brooklyn at the Atlas Steakhouse on Dec. 17 to raise money for diabetes.

“Hollywood Comes to Brooklyn” is a fund-raiser for the blind popular host of the first rap-show on MTV who has lived with Type 2 diabetes for a decade now. Money raised is going towards starting a foundation Doctor Dre is creating, and to cover some medical bills. The event will be an important cause for people to support — they will get a little bit of Hollywood-inspired entertainment while supporting an important cause because that will encourage the radio personality to come out of his shell and talk more to the public about his life with diabetes in time for Hollywood month, said the event’s organizer.

“Doctor Dre made his first social appearance this year at my award show,” said Cocochynna Ford, organizer of the event. “When he came out and revealed that he went blind from diabetes, I thought it would be a perfect month to have a fund raiser to talk about men’s health.”

At the event, Doctor Dre will meet with fans and talk about his life since his big break on MTV, and living as a diabetic since his diagnosis. Special guests that will attend will be state Sen. Kevin Parker (D–Ditmas Park) and radio host Lenny Green.

The legendary hip-hop figure announced his blindness this past June after silently suffering with the disability for three years due to complications from his diabetes. He even underwent amputations to his feet, but Ford says he is in a good state of mind.

“He’s totally dependent on people assisting him but he’s not mad about it — he’s very happy,” she said. “He wants to create a legacy for our young people. He’s blind but he sees everything more clearly than ever.”

Ford says her goal for the festive party is to bring the icon back into the limelight and help boost support to spearhead his own foundation, called the Doctor Dre Foundation for Diabetes Research Associates to Find a Cure. The organization will aim to support research and find a cure for the disease. But despite his name, he is not getting a lot of support from fans or famous people knows, said Ford.

“He doesn’t have a lot backers in the industry even though he is radio loyalty in hip-hop,” she said. “We’re trying to raise money because he needs a lot of things and he wants to start a foundation for wellness and getting in shape, and work with existing organizations.”

Ideally raising $100,000 is a perfect number to get things rolling faster, said Ford, but she hopes to raise less than that just to get his immediate needs taken care of.

“We’re looking to raise $5,000 because he doesn’t have enough medical insurance to cover medical costs and supplies,” she said. “It’s the little things he needs now and the rest will go towards the foundation.”

“Hollywood Comes to Brooklyn” at Atlas Steakhouse [943 Coney Island Ave. between Ditmas and Newkirk avenues in Kensington, (646) 494-7227]. Dec. 17, 6–9 pm. $20.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]

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