youtube.com/CNBC International TV
youtube.com/CNBC International TV

Daymond John Was Once Diagnosed with Stage 2 Cancer — How He Handled the Disease

Oyin Balogun
Jul 07, 2020
02:40 P.M.

Famous for his position as the CEO of FUBU, Daymond John has survived the good and the ugly through his journey to affluence. One of his most daunting experiences thus far was his near-brush with death during his 2017 battle with thyroid cancer.


Television personality and entrepreneur Daymond John rose to fame as one of the sharks on the ABC series, “Shark Tank.” The 51-year-old once opened up about his battle with cancer about three years ago, and how the experience changed his view about life.

CEO of FUBU, Daymond John talking about how he survived his battlle with Thyroid Cancer | Photo: YouTube.com/CNBC International TV

CEO of FUBU, Daymond John talking about how he survived his battlle with Thyroid Cancer | Photo: YouTube.com/CNBC International TV


Daymond John’s cancer diagnosis came as a shock to him in April 2017. According to the “Shark Tank” star, during an executive physical routine health checkup, his doctors found a 1-inch nodule in his thyroid.

In September 2016, he publicly proposed to her during an episode of “The Sharks.”

On suspicions of cancer, the doctors scheduled a surgical session for him almost immediately. Surgeons successfully removed the marble-sized nodule, alongside half of his thyroid. Following the procedure, the nodule was biopsied, and the result revealed John suffered from stage two thyroid cancer.


The surgery was a success, and two days later, the icon continued his life, as usual, taking up his public speaking engagements, partying, and dancing.


The FUBU CEO divulged that his early diagnosis prevented the disease from becoming a huge problem. Despite being cancer-free post-surgery, John admittedly has to closely monitor his thyroid for the rest of his life to prevent a recurrence. He went on to encourage everyone to actively monitor their health by patronizing medical personnel for periodic checkups.


Growing up in the lower-middle-class neighborhood of Hollis Queens in New York City, Daymond John’s rise up the ladder came harder than most. As early as six years old, the business-minded mogul began doing menial jobs to make extra cash, and by age ten, he was already an electrical genius.

The introduction of hip-hop to his neighborhood marked the onset of a new phase in his life. The music admittedly gave his hopes and dreams a new meaning.


He got drawn by not only the music, but also the mode of dressing, and walking that came with it. Soon, hip hop became a way of life for him and others in the neighborhood.


On a fateful day, the turning point came for Daymond John when he attempted to buy a pair of boots from a company called Timberland to suit his hip-hop dressing. The company bluntly refused to sell to him, saying they didn’t sell boots to drug dealers.

That statement spurred his decision to become successful in the clothing line. Before long, he quit his job as a waiter at Red Lobster, partnered with a group of friends, and together founded their own clothing company, For Us By Us.


They started with ten shirts, and few patrons in Japan and Seattle. Years later, famous figures like Miss Jones and Brand Nubia started donning the FUBU brand on their music videos, and that marked his first big break. John later signed a distribution deal with Bruce and Norman Weisfield, who went on to become his partners.

Daymond John’s stint on “Shark Tank” followed. Eventually, the White House contacted him to become part of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative alongside John Legend, Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning.

Days later, he became the then-president Barack Obama’s Ambassador of Global entrepreneurship, and the sky has been his limit.



The 51-year-old businessman has been married twice. He got married to his first wife at the onset of his career as the FUBU founder. Their marriage yielded two children, Yasmeen and Destiny.

The pair divorced a few years into their union. Daymond John’s kids with his first wife grew up in their mom’s custody following the divorce.


The icon began a relationship with Heather Taras years after his first divorce. In September 2016, he publicly proposed to her during an episode of “The Sharks.” Two years later, the couple tied the knot in a private ceremony.

Daymond John’s wife has a daughter, Minka, whom she shares with the business mogul. Despite his turbulent journey to success and a brush with death, John has undoubtedly succeeded both in his career and family life.

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