New York City, NY – LL Cool J says his wife’s battle with cancer motivates him to help raise money to fund continued research into the disease.

Simone Smith survived bone cancer after being diagnosed in 2004. The couple attended the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s “Hot Pink Party” in New York City last Thursday (May 17).

“Economics is always a big issue … and that is a bigger issue that affects everything — health, food, nutrition and education,” the Queens rapper told Page Six of finding a cure. “That is a much bigger discussion that I can’t do in a sound bite right now. But I will say this is really important that we do research — because that is the only way that we can find a cure — and if we find a cure, then we can figure out to make sure all the people who need the cure have it.”

Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. In the United States, more than 600,000 people will pass away from cancer in 2018, according to the National Cancer Institute.

LL Cool J — born James Todd Smith — married Simone in 1995. The couple have four children together.