Longtime Portland rapper, promoter and all-around local hip-hop booster Idris "StarChile" O'Ferrall has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
According to David Jackson, aka DJ OG One, who has started a crowdfunding campaign to assist with O'Ferrall's medical bills, O'Ferrall went to the hospital in March after feeling ill, where tests revealed abscesses on his brain and heart valves. He was diagnosed with CNS Lymphoma, and underwent emergency surgery to stop bleeding on his brain.
O'Ferrall has played numerous roles in the Portland rap scene. He started out rapping as a student at Wilson High School, and went on to run his own label, host radio and TV shows and promote concerts in and out of the city. In 2015, he helped shepherd the annual Portland Hip-Hop Day into existence, bringing rappers to perform on the steps of City Hall every October. O'Ferrall also hosts the monthly Mic Check event at White Eagle Saloon, showcasing emerging and veteran Portland hip-hop artists.
This isn't O'Ferrall's first serious health scare. In 1997, he suffered from kidney failure, requiring a transplant and six months of dialysis. As he told Willamette Week in a 2001 profile, that experience spurred his voracious work ethic.
"I know it can go away that quick," he said at the time. "I work hard, but I'm blessed—I'll put it like that—to do this much stuff."