Timothy Francis Jones, aka DJ Timbuck2, was part of Chicago’s hip hop community before his death from kidney cancer in 2015, having toured with Kanye West and playing at events for P. Diddy, Jay Z, Common, Lil’ Kim and others, according to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune.
A foundation named in his honor has raised support for University of Illinois Cancer Center research programs through events involving Chicago’s hip hop community, and the foundation plans further involvement in Cancer Center efforts to raise cancer awareness among African American men.
Jones’ parents, Bernadette and Edward Jones, carry on the legacy of their son through the Timothy Francis Jones Foundation (TFJF), which spreads the word about the importance of health and early detection among men, particularly among men of color, who may be hesitant to seek out health care or think they are too busy like their son. He struggled with worsening symptoms for a year before seeking care and being diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer.
Their son conceived the idea of a foundation focused on early detection not long before he died at age 34, putting down his thoughts in a few notes.
“I have a social responsibility to let the rest of the world know, and anybody else that is going through this that you are not alone!!! Your struggle is my struggle, and I’m here to fight with you. To the ones with too much pride, and don’t like going to the doctor because they are too proud and can handle it all, I have high hopes that my journey and story brings you back down to earth,” he wrote.
TFJF also educates about and advocates for cancer research because after their son was diagnosed he joined a clinical trial at the Cancer Center.
“Research to find cures for any cancer is so vital because if you stop research, it’s like a weed in your garden, it’s going to take over, it’s going to win,” Bernadette Jones said, adding that TFJF isn’t focused solely on kidney cancer. “We donate to cancer research because that’s where you have to start, because there is no cure.”