Jessica Simp­son Joe’s

Is strug­gling to cope with her fa­ther dev­as­tat­ing can­cer di­ag­no­sis as he bat­tles for his life

In Touch (USA) - - Familynews -

The news came out of nowhere. In early Oc­to­ber, Jessica Simp­son and lit­tle sis­ter Ashlee’s worlds were turned up­side down when they were told their 58-year-old fa­ther, Joe Simp­son, had been di­ag­nosed with an advanced form of prostate can­cer. “Doc­tors im­me­di­ately per­formed prostate re­moval surgery and placed Joe on a chemo­ther­apy sched­ule,” an in­sider tells In Touch ex­clu­sively, adding that the pas­tor turned tal­ent manager turned photographer af­fec­tion­ately known as Papa Joe still faces an up­hill battle. “Doc­tors found that he has Stage 4 can­cer and that the dis­ease has spread to his lymph nodes.”

The fam­ily is dev­as­tated. Jessica, 36, and Ashlee, 32, “took it espe­cially hard. They’re heart­bro­ken,” says the in­sider. Even the girls’ mom, Tina, who di­vorced Joe in 2012 af­ter 34 years of mar­riage and has since moved on with wealthy LA land­scaper Jon Gold­stein, was sad­dened to learn what her ex is go­ing through. Now, the fashion mogul and her singer sis­ter have been lean­ing on their Chris­tian faith and em­brac­ing the power of prayer. Says the in­sider, “They all cried for days about his dire future and the very real pos­si­bil­ity of him dying.”

Jessica and her sis­ter have ral­lied be­hind their fa­ther. “They’ve been there ev­ery step of the way as Joe fights for his life,” says the in­sider. “Jessica has helped him find the best doc­tors and med­i­cal care. And both she and Ashlee visit him three to four times a week.” De­spite some in­tense ups and downs over the years, espe­cially dur­ing Joe and Tina’s ac­ri­mo­nious split amid re­ports that Joe had come out as a gay man (which a fam­ily rep de­nied), “Their lov­ing re­la­tion­ship with their fa­ther has only in­ten­si­fied since his star­tling di­ag­no­sis.” (Oddly, Joe’s rep de­nied to In Touch that Joe is suf­fer­ing from prostate can­cer and then hours later con­firmed it.)

Joe is de­ter­mined to fight. “He’s weak and tired a lot,” says the in­sider, not­ing that doc­tors have re­fused to dampen his spir­its by putting a per­cent­age on his chances for sur­vival. As a result, “Joe has re­mained in­cred­i­bly op­ti­mistic about his battle, car­ry­ing on with reg­u­lar chemo­ther­apy treat­ments and hor­mone ther­apy.”

The whole fam­ily is hold­ing out hope. “De­spite an orig­i­nally bleak prog­no­sis, Joe’s up­beat at­ti­tude has been con­ta­gious for Jess, Ashlee and the en­tire fam­ily,” adds the in­sider. “They are hop­ing for a mirac­u­lous re­cov­ery for Papa Joe, and they are pray­ing with all their hearts.” ◼

TOUGH TIMES “The grim news dev­as­tated the en­tire Simp­son fam­ily,” says the in­sider.

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