John Baptiste, known as the late night bandleader and musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, has been absent from the show since May 2022.
The award-winning singer took a leave of absence to take care of his wife Suleika Jaouad.
Who is Suleyka Jaouad?
Jon Baptiste and Suleika Jaouad first met 20 years ago at a music camp, and since then they’ve grown both as a career and as a couple.
Suleyka Jaouad was born on July 5, 1988 in New York.
Suleyka attended the Juilliard Preparatory Program, learning to play the double bass.
She graduated summa cum laude in Middle Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2010 with a double major in Gender Studies and French.
While at Princeton, the 33-year-old was involved in several human rights campaigns and studied abroad throughout Africa.
Continuing her education, Suleyka received a master’s degree in writing and literature from Bennington College.
At 22, Suleika was diagnosed with leukemia.
She began writing the New York Times column “Girl, Interrupted” from her hospital room in Sloan-Kettering, located in Upper Manhattan.
Suleyka has been a member of Barack Obama’s Presidential Cancer Caucus, the Family Reach National Advisory Board, the Bone Marrow and Cancer Foundation, and the Brooklyn Public Library Committee on Arts and Literature.
In addition to her column, Suleika’s words have appeared in Vogue, Glamour, NPR and Women’s Health magazines.
She was an Anacapa Fellow in residence at the Thacher School and taught the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University.
In 2019, Suleika’s TED Talk “What Almost Death Taught Me to Live” was released.
The following year, she published Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of an Interrupted Life, in which she wrote about her struggles with illness and subsequent recovery.
What kind of cancer does she have and what did she say about it?
Suleyka was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2011.
To fight the disease, Suleyka underwent years of chemotherapy, participated in clinical trials, and received a bone marrow transplant before being declared cancer-free three years later.
However, in November 2021, the 33-year-old received word that her cancer had returned – this time more aggressively.
“We have to consider these two realities,” said 35-year-old John Baptiste. CBS.
Unfortunately, Suleyka was forced to suffer alone in the hospital. insulation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The episode didn’t stop the powerful couple who stepped forward and tied the knot in February 2022 in an intimate ceremony.
Their wedding day was the eve of Suleika’s new bone marrow transplant.
Getting married at that time, Baptiste explained, was “an act of defiance. The darkness will try to overtake you, but just turn on the light, focus on the light, hold on to the light.”