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Godson writes first song in nearly a decade during chemotherapy treatment

Yellowknife DJ and hip-hop artist Aaron Hernandez, widely known as “Godson,” was diagnosed with stage four anaplastic T-cell lymphoma in late 2023. His said his chemotherapy treatment “cripples the body,” but during recovery, he has found time to write his first song in nearly a decade. Photo courtesy of Vincent Ret

Yellowknife hip-hop artist Aaron “Godson” Hernandez plans to release his first new song in nearly a decade this month — a song he wrote in the midst of chemotherapy treatment.

“I do have a lot of free time, obviously, and I’m home all day,” he said on Feb. 12, crediting his wife for the inspiration. “It’s sparked my music again.”

Godson has been making music in the NWT for decades, and has also entertained his supporters as a DJ. His music career has seen him perform at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and receive lofty recognition, including a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.

He has also appeared on popular television programs like Dragon’s Den and Family Feud.

Late last year, he was diagnosed with stage four anaplastic T-cell lymphoma.

The news was difficult to process, he said, but it wasn’t long before he “pushed the gear into fight mode.”

“As soon as they said it, it hits you really hard because it’s real,” he said. “Everything just stopped. It just didn’t seem real at the time, and at that time you are like, ‘Why me? What did I do?’ But there’s nothing you can do except start fighting it.”

By mid-February, Godson was three weeks into his chemotherapy regimen. The treatment began in Edmonton, but he has since returned to Yellowknife, and he’s once again living with his family.

Being close to family, he said, has helped him cope with his health challenges, and the discomfort of chemotherapy.

“I didn’t know what to expect [from treatment] because, of course, I’ve never gone through chemo before, but, for the low points anyway, it definitely kind of cripples your body,” he said.

“It’s been comforting just to be in my own home. My wife is here by my side every minute of the day, and it’s just comforting to be with the kids and my mom and my brother. We’re all in the same house here, so there’s so much to distract me from what I’m going through.”

Godson isn’t just getting support from his relatives.

He has been receiving waves of love and support from all around the city, the wider NWT, and all across Canada.

A GoFundMe campaign organized by three of his sister’s friends set an initial goal of $20,000 to help Godson and his family manage the costs of his treatment, but as of Feb. 12, it had blown past $40,000.

“My sister asked my permission, and I said yeah,” he said. “I mean, any kind of support is welcomed.”

“Then it just blew up. For me, for my wife, we didn’t believe how big it’s gotten,” he added. “The support just started coming from everywhere – from people I’ve never talked to, people I haven’t talked to in 25 years. It feels really good to know that we have the support of so many.”

Godson called the help he and his family have received “humbling.”

“You don’t how much you’ve actually touched some people’s lives,” he said. “People have been like, ‘You’ve been a big part of our high school dances back in the day, and some people have messaged me about having a collection of my albums. For me it’s like, wow, I didn’t realize how much of an impact I may have had on some people.

“It feels so great.”

The beloved NWT artist said the encouragement and donations have affirmed his opinion that “The North really gets behind what they believe in, and when they believe in something, they come in huge packs.”

There is a long road ahead for Godson, and while there is no question it will be challenging, he said his “spirits are good,” and he hopes that his supporters know he plans to persevere.

“I’m fighting this thing and I’m beating this,” he said. “With all the support I’ve been getting, it’s really giving me the strength to battle this cancer.”

Godson has been posting updates about his progress on his official Facebook page, which he called “part of the healing process.”

His new song is expected to be available in the next couple of weeks on his Facebook page, as well as his YouTube channel.