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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
5/3/2004 5:53:43 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Eminem.

THE last time Debbie Mathers went to a clinic for a mammogram for her breast cancer, she was asked to pay upfront in cash.

The irony is that after not being able to afford the £500 fee, doctors have told her she's too weak for surgery to remove the lump anyway - she now weighs only six stone.

Debbie, 49, may be the most vilified figure in modern music, dubbed a "selfish bitch" and a drug-user in bitter lyrics penned by her son Eminem.

But while he has used his rage against her to become one of the world's top recording artists - and make an estimated £50million - Debbie can't pay for basic healthcare.

She faces bankruptcy over the £150,000 in medical fees she owes not only for her cancer treatment but also for injuries from a recent carjacking and a car crash several years ago.

Today, Debbie tries to conceal her gaunt appearance in a loose-fitting trouser suit but, even so, she looks so thin she could easily snap in two.

"I know that, at the moment, I'm not a candidate for surgery," says Debbie, speaking publicly for the first time about her cancer battle.

"I feel weaker every day and it takes a lot for me to keep it together. A lot of people have said I am dying of a broken heart."

Yet, even as Debbie wastes away - she has lost 10lbs since January - she insists a few kind words from her son would do more than a mountain of cash to improve her condition.

"I don't want Marshall's money," she stresses. "It would be wonderful, though, if he just called me with some honesty and sincerity."

To Debbie, there are two Eminems. "Marsh" (Marshall Mathers III), who sent her a huge bouquet last Mother's Day and who signs his Christmas cards "Number One Son".

And Slim Shady, who has not helped with her treatment and taunted her that the robbery on Detroit's 8 Mile Road in January was a stunt to cash in on the success of his film of the same name.

In past songs, Eminem, 31, has accused Debbie of having Munchausen's syndrome - a condition where sufferers make up ailments to get attention.

BUT Debbie insists that an initial test on the walnut-sized lump in her breast has shown it is cancerous.

"It took him a couple of months to call. He asked me how I was but I had to change the subject because it's a hard thing to talk to your kids about.

"He seemed concerned. I told him I didn't want to burden him with my problems. To be honest, I am in denial about it anyway.

"He wanted me to fax my medical papers to his management, to help get me some insurance. But it turned out it wasn't possible because I had a pre-existing medical condition."

After that, there were no more offers of help - a fact she blames on Marshall's distrust of other members of the feuding extended family who, he feels, have tried to cash in on his fame.

It was the same suspicion that made him question her version of what happened when she was held up at gun-point at a petrol station.

In the end, his doubts were proved unfounded. Earlier this month, James Knott, 17, was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation and was sentenced to more than four years for holding Debbie up and stealing her car. During the carjacking, she was repeatedly punched in the head and was also left with a broken foot, bruising and chronic back pain.

Throughout the ordeal, Debbie's greatest fear was not for her life but how she was going to make her eldest son believe what was happening to her.

"I went to get some gas," she recalls. "I opened the door and this young kid stuck the gun in my face - a .45 calibre.

"He told me to get the f*** out of the car but I couldn't move. I had a gun pointed in my face and all I could think about was: 'My God, I didn't get to talk to my sons, Marshall and Nathan. Marshall will never believe it. What am going to do if I get shot?'

Then the gunman th

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