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Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott announce pediatric cancer foundation in honor of late son Zen


Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott paid tribute to their late son Zen on the day that would have marked his first birthday.

On Thursday night, the 41-year-old television personality and the model hosted a lighting ceremony and announced the founding of a pediatric cancer foundation named after the infant, who tragically passed away at just five months old from brain cancer last December.  

‘June 23rd will forever be a day of celebration,’ Nick and Alyssa wrote in the caption of their joint Instagram post.

Honoring him: Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott paid tribute to their late son Zen on the day that would have marked his first birthday

Honoring him: Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott paid tribute to their late son Zen on the day that would have marked his first birthday

They continued, ‘A beautiful lighting ceremony to honor the life of an Angel. Zen’s birth has now transformed into “Zen’s Light”. 

‘We are proud to announce his new foundation that will help so many others in this world. “Zen’s Light” mission is to foster global excellence in hope, grief-care, and pediatric healthcare for families and children in need. 

‘Thank you for everyone who joined us at this inaugural event, specifically the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and our other beautiful partners. Can’t wait for next year where our Lighting Gala will continue grow to help find a cure for pediatric Cancer, further research and help console more families during difficult times.’

Tribute: On Thursday night, the 41-year-old television personality and the model hosted a lighting ceremony and announced the founding of a pediatric cancer foundation named after the infant, who tragically passed away at just five months old from brain cancer last December.

Tribute: On Thursday night, the 41-year-old television personality and the model hosted a lighting ceremony and announced the founding of a pediatric cancer foundation named after the infant, who tragically passed away at just five months old from brain cancer last December.

The Wild N’ Out host and Alyssa included two images from the event in their joint post.  

Nick was clad in an all-white ensemble and Scott wore a mauve gown as they lit a white lantern on a patio surrounded by guests.

In another photo, the two smiled as they stood next to a friend, who held up a black plaque emblazoned with a star shining down on the wording ‘Zen’s Light’.

Showing her support: On Friday, Alyssa shared another post from the event on her Instagram page. In the first image of her slideshow, she was seen posing in front of a pool with three women, one of which held up a blanket box from the charitable organization Blankets for My Buddies

Showing her support: On Friday, Alyssa shared another post from the event on her Instagram page. In the first image of her slideshow, she was seen posing in front of a pool with three women, one of which held up a blanket box from the charitable organization Blankets for My Buddies

On Friday, Alyssa shared another post from the event on her Instagram page. 

In the first image of her slideshow, she was seen posing in front of a pool with three women, one of which held up a blanket box from the charitable organization Blankets for My Buddies.

She also included a snap of a framed picture of Zen on a wood table. Alyssa and Nick were seen smiling as they posed with guests in a group shot in front of a table, on which block letters that spelled out Zen’s name had been placed.

Token of remembrance: She also included a snap of a framed picture of Zen on a wood table

Token of remembrance: She also included a snap of a framed picture of Zen on a wood table

In the caption of her post, Alyssa wrote, ‘I woke up inspired by how beautifully interconnected we all are through our experiences. 

‘Yesterday was a much needed reminder that we are never alone on this journey. I was especially touched by the strength of CJ Matthew’s who at the time was only 5 when he lost his sibling. 

‘Even at his young age it was put on his heart to comfort families by creating @blankies4buddies.’ 

Solidarity: Alyssa and Nick were seen smiling as they posed with guests in a group shot in front of a table, on which block letters that spelled out Zen's name had been placed

Solidarity: Alyssa and Nick were seen smiling as they posed with guests in a group shot in front of a table, on which block letters that spelled out Zen’s name had been placed

Nick and Alyssa: 'Zen’s birth has now transformed into “Zen’s Light”'

Nick and Alyssa: ‘Zen’s birth has now transformed into “Zen’s Light”’

She continued, ‘He wanted to ensure every child felt safe, warm and loved during difficult times. Seeing the courage of others, like CJ’s, has completely uplifted and renewed my spirit. 

‘I know it’s my calling to walk in my purpose with Zens light. I have so much gratitude and admiration for everyone who attended our celebration for Zens birthday. Thank you to our family, and also to my social media family who extended your thoughts and well wishes!!’

Ahead of the event on Thursday night, Alyssa posted a video featuring sweet moments with Zen, including a brief appearance by Nick.

Missing him: Nick was briefly featured in a video that Alyssa Scott posted to Instagram on Thursday to celebrate what would have been their late son Zion's first birthday

Missing him: Nick was briefly featured in a video that Alyssa Scott posted to Instagram on Thursday to celebrate what would have been their late son Zion’s first birthday

‘Happy heavenly birthday Zen. At the root of all the emotions I have today there is insurmountable love,’ Alyssa captioned her heartbreaking video. 

‘I always try my best to remain positive but right now I can’t help but cry out “it’s not suppose to be like this.” In my mind I can see him smashing his cake and crawling around, tugging at my legs,’ she continued. ‘But the reality is I will be the one to blow out his first candle. I will be wishing he was still here with us. GO REST HIGH.’

The somber video, which was soundtracked with Vince Gill singing Go Rest High On That Mountain, opened with Zen shortly after being born as Alyssa cradled him in her arms while he slept.

Her daughter from a previous relationship sweetly patted the little boy on his head as he snoozed peacefully in his crib once he arrived at home.

In his place: 'Happy heavenly birthday Zen,' Alyssa wrote, before nothing that she would 'be the one to blow out his first candle'

In his place: ‘Happy heavenly birthday Zen,’ Alyssa wrote, before nothing that she would ‘be the one to blow out his first candle’

So sweet: The somber video, which was soundtracked with Vince Gill singing Go Rest High On That Mountain, opened with Zen shortly after being born as Alyssa cradled him in her arms while he slept

So sweet: The somber video, which was soundtracked with Vince Gill singing Go Rest High On That Mountain, opened with Zen shortly after being born as Alyssa cradled him in her arms while he slept

Siblings: Her daughter from a previous relationship sweetly patted the little boy on his head as he snoozed peacefully in his crib once he arrived at home

Siblings: Her daughter from a previous relationship sweetly patted the little boy on his head as he snoozed peacefully in his crib once he arrived at home

Another clip showed him smiling adorably in a Mickey Mouse onesie from the Disneyland Resort.

Alyssa also highlighted her maternal bond with her child as she paced back and forth with him in her arms during a day at the beach.

Although he may have filmed some of the footage, Nick was only featured once in the video in a brief clip showing him letting a tired Zen sleep against his chest.

Alyssa and Nick welcomed Zen in late June 2021, just days after he also welcomed his twins Zion and Zillion with Abby De La Rosa.

But on December 7, the Drumline star opened his former talk show with a heartbreaking announcement that his son had died two days earlier.

‘Over the weekend, I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus that is pretty much a malignant, midline brain tumor — brain cancer,’ he said. Although the tumor appeared to cause the hydrocephalus, the condition occurs when fluid builds up on the brain, creating pressure that can become deadly.

Too cute: Another clip showed him smiling adorably in a Mickey Mouse onesie from the Disneyland Resort

Too cute: Another clip showed him smiling adorably in a Mickey Mouse onesie from the Disneyland Resort

Mother and child: Alyssa also highlighted her maternal bond with her child as she paced back and forth with him in her arms during a day at the beach

Mother and child: Alyssa also highlighted her maternal bond with her child as she paced back and forth with him in her arms during a day at the beach

Cannon continued, saying he learned of his son’s health condition when he took him to the doctor.

He wanted to get a check up because Zen had ‘real interesting breathing,’ and a ‘nice-sized head, too,’ which he joked was a ‘Cannon head.’

Once he was diagnoses, Zen underwent surgery to drain the fluid around his brain, but Nick said his condition began to deteriorate rapidly around Thanksgiving, and he died early in December. 

As he teared up and his voice cracked with emotion, the actor described his final moments with Zen, when he canceled his plans to be with the little boy.

‘I was preparing my day as it normally went. I didn’t know what it was going to be. But even by the time I got in the car headed for the airport, I had to turn around,’ he said. ‘I turned around and not only did we get to see the sunrise, but we got to see the sunset, too.’

Terrible news: Alyssa and Nick welcomed Zen in late June 2021, just days after he also welcomed twins with Abby De La Rosa, but he announced on December 7 that Zen had died two days earlier from hydrocephalus brought on by a brain tumor

Terrible news: Alyssa and Nick welcomed Zen in late June 2021, just days after he also welcomed twins with Abby De La Rosa, but he announced on December 7 that Zen had died two days earlier from hydrocephalus brought on by a brain tumor

Last moments: He changed his plans to spend a last day with Zen: 'By the time I got in the car headed for the airport, I had to turn around,' he said. 'I turned around and not only did we get to see the sunrise, but we got to see the sunset, too'; seen in October 2021

Last moments: He changed his plans to spend a last day with Zen: ‘By the time I got in the car headed for the airport, I had to turn around,’ he said. ‘I turned around and not only did we get to see the sunrise, but we got to see the sunset, too’; seen in October 2021

Cannon was criticized by some fans when he announced in January that he was having his eighth child with Bre Tiesi, just over a month after Zen’s death.

Alyssa alluded to the poorly timed news in an Instagram post in which she wrote that she was ‘centered’ and ‘at peace’ following the death of her son.

However, she added that it was ‘painful having my son be apart of conversations that aren’t in alignment with his light and legacy. It isn’t something I chose for him or myself.’

Bad timing: Cannon was criticized by some fans when he announced in January that he was having his eighth child with Bre Tiesi, just over a month after Zen's death, which Alyssa alluded to

Bad timing: Cannon was criticized by some fans when he announced in January that he was having his eighth child with Bre Tiesi, just over a month after Zen’s death, which Alyssa alluded to

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