Nick Cannon Says He's 'Turning Pain Into Purpose' Following Son Zen's Death, Talks New Foundation (Exclusive)

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Nick Cannon
'The Nick Cannon Show'

Nick Cannon is opening up about his new pediatric cancer foundation created in honor of his son, Zen, who died of brain cancer in December. 

"I'm a true believer in turning your pain into purpose," Cannon told ET exclusively while at the Los Angeles stop of his Wild n Out rap battle tour. "To know how much joy that he brought our family, I just wanted to spread that light."

Cannon announced the Zen's Light Foundation alongside his son's mother, Alyssa Scott, on Friday, one day after what would have been Zen's first birthday. Its mission "is to foster global excellence in hope, grief-care, and pediatric healthcare for families and children in need."

Cannon hopes the foundation will help lessen the pain for families in situations like his. 

"I feel like hopefully the foundation's work will be able to help other families going through similar situations," he said. "Even the research for pediatric cancer, so people don't have to go through this. I was like, 'This is a perfect opportunity. We can take what we’ve gone through and spread the light.'"

Cannon and Scott attended "a beautiful lighting ceremony to honor the life of an Angel" on Friday to commemorate the Foundation's beginning. They also thanked the Children's Hospital of Orange County on Instagram for helping them pull off the inaugural event.

"Can't wait for next year where our Lighting Gala will continue [to] grow to help find a cure for pediatric [c]ancer, further research and help console more families during difficult times," Cannon wrote. 

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