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From Hip-Hop Artist to Survivor: Denver Rapper to ‘Run the Rocks’ after Beating Lung Cancer

Raising awareness, funding for Lung Association

(August 6, 2019) -

For more information please contact:

James Martinez
[email protected]
(312) 445-2501

After a history of smoking, local rapper Joe Nipper was diagnosed with lung cancer on December 17, 2018. Less than a year later, he is a lung cancer survivor and will participate in the American Lung Association in Colorado’s Run the Rocks on October 13 to help raise awareness and life-saving research funding for the disease.

Nipper says that when he was given the diagnosis, he felt panicked and hopeless.

“I even stopped dreaming. I didn’t think ahead anymore. It was hard,” said Nipper.

After six months of treatment, he went into surgery on March 1 to remove the cancer. During his post-op appointment, he was declared cancer-free. Now, Nipper is eager to participate in events like Run the Rocks and hopes to reach out to a younger generation before they get involved with smoking trends like e-cigarettes and vaping.

“As a musician and hip hop artist, the hip hop community has a huge following,” he said. “Smoking is the worst and I hope I can help bring awareness to the vaping trend and anything else our young people are doing to poison their lungs.”

Nipper, who currently resides in Aurora with his family, says that events like these are crucial to raise awareness and money to find a cure for lung cancer.

“Research is the key to cures, so the more awareness about lung disease -- the more walks, runs, fundraisers, and donations -- the more people will be educated, especially the youth,” said Nipper.

Nipper began his hip-hop career in 1976 and has been involved in the hip hop community in multiple ways ever since, whether it is performing, producing, or recording his own freestyle bars.

This will be Nipper’s first year participating in Run the Rocks—Denver’s 10th annual fundraising walk/run hosted in the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Participants have the option to complete a 10k, 5k, or family fun run in honor of fundraising towards the Lung Association’s mission of clean air and changing what it means to live with lung disease.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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