What Cancer Does Jon Batiste’s Wife Suleika Jaouad Have?

Jon Batiste, best known as the late night bandleader and musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, has left the show as of May 2022.

The award-winning singer is taking some time off to look after his wife, Suleika Jaouad.

Job Baptiste and Suleika Jaouad first met when they were 13 and 14 years old at bandcamp


Job Baptiste and Suleika Jaouad first met when they were 13 and 14 years old at bandcampPhoto credit: Getty

Who is Suleika Jaouad?

Jon Baptiste and Suleika first met at bandcamp 20 years ago and have since grown in their respective careers and as a couple.

Suleika was born on July 5, 1988 and hails from New York City.

She attended the Julliard School pre-college program and majored in double bass.

In 2010 she graduated from Princeton University with highest honors in Middle Eastern Studies with minors in Gender Studies and French.

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While at Princeton, Suleika worked on several human rights campaigns and studied abroad across Africa.

Suleika continued her education and earned a master’s degree in writing and literature from Bennington College.

At the age of 22, Suleika was diagnosed with leukemia.

She began writing a column for The New York Times – Life, Interrupted – while in her hospital room in Sloan-Kettering, Upper Manhattan.

Suleika has served on Barack Obama’s Presidential Cancer Panel, the Family Reach National Advisory Board, the Bone Marrow and Cancer Foundation, and the Arts & Letters Committee of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Aside from her column, Suleika has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, NPR and Women’s Health.

She was an Anacapa Scholar in Residence at the Thacher School and an associate professor in the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University.

In 2019, Suleika’s TED Talk – What Almost Dying Taught Me About Living – was published.

The following year she published Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir Of A Life Interrupted, in which she wrote about her battle with the disease and her subsequent recovery.

The couple married the night before Suleika's bone marrow transplant


The couple married the night before Suleika’s bone marrow transplantPhoto credit: Instagram/@suleikajaouad

What cancer does she have and what did she say about it?

Suleika was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2011.

To fight the disease, Suleika underwent years of chemotherapy, participated in clinical trials and received a bone marrow transplant before being declared cancer-free three years later.

But in November 2021, the 33-year-old received word that her cancer had returned – this time more aggressively.

Jon Batiste told CBS, “We need to capture both of those realities.”

Tragically, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Suleika had to suffer alone in hospital isolation.

That episode didn’t deter the power couple, who tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in February 2022.

Their wedding anniversary took place the night before Suleika’s new bone marrow transplant.

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Getting married back then, Batiste explained, was “an act of defiance.”

He added, “The darkness will try to overtake you, but just turn on the light, focus on the light, hold on to the light.”

https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/5582013/jon-batiste-wife-suleika-jaouad-cancer/ What Cancer Does Jon Batiste’s Wife Suleika Jaouad Have?

Aila Slisco

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