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Leukemia & Lymphoma

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Rap Star Nelly: Fitness, Fatherhood, and a Health Foundation

How the chart-topping musician stays healthy while balancing career, family, and advocating for bone marrow donations.

Name one of your guilty pleasures.

Waking up at 3 a.m. and eating chocolate mousse and ice cream.

You have two kids, Chanell Haynes, 17, and Cornell Haynes, III, 12. What has being a father taught you?

It's taught me to appreciate smaller, everyday pleasures, like just hanging out with them. I know they like my success, but there's a bitter side to it, too, because I'm not there as much as they want me to be.

And what are some important lessons you have tried to teach them?

You try to teach them to respect themselves and respect others. You stress the importance of education. I don't know if they have learned that. You can say it to them, but you can't know if they have learned it. Time will tell.

In the past year, you've released a hit single, a new record, an exercise video -- part of the Celebrity Sweats series -- and you've got your own clothing line, Apple Bottoms. Do you ever have time to relax?

I don't look for down time. I don't take that many vacations. Maybe I should. But I have only got so much time. It's hard to slow down when there are always new dreams, new options.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about signing up for the bone marrow donor registry?

Any time you help people it's a beautiful thing, but people have to want to help, you have to have it in your heart to help.

Is your name on the registry?

I've signed up. Hopefully, I will get a call and be able to save someone personally.

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Reviewed on March 09, 2011

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