Snoop Dogg has credited his daughter Cori's battle with lupus with bringing the rapper closer to his wife Shante, insisting the life-threatening illness helped to save their faltering marriage. The rap superstar, real name Calvin Broadus, filed for divorce from his wife of seven years in 2004, citing irreconcilable differences.
The couple reunited months later, prompting Snoop to withdraw the legal petition, and they renewed their vows in 2008. Snoop admits the turning point in their relationship came when young Cori was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder in 2005 - and her subsequent health battle made the hip-hop star and his wife realize they had to stay "together forever".
Shante tells People magazine, "Without (Snoop), I don't know what I'd have done. It's amazing how this all turned out. We were gonna get a divorce. But we wouldn't have gotten through it (the lupus diagnosis) that way." Snoop adds, "That's what it boiled down to. Cori's lupus showed us we need to be together forever."
The rapper reveals the couple had turned to a marriage counselor to help them overcome their troubles and he would often escape to the recording studio to cry and gather his emotions. He says, "You always think it's gonna happen to someone else. Some days in the studio, I'd just cry. It was the only zone I had to express myself."
But he's in awe of how strong Cori, now 11, has been throughout the health crisis - despite struggling with the side effects of the disorder, which caused her hair to fall out and affected her weight. Snoop explains, "My daughter is the love of my life. When she'd lay in bed saying, 'My brain hurts', it bothered me so much. I felt helpless... (But) she's the toughest little thing I've ever met, even with the needles."
And Cori has managed to keep her lupus under control to enjoy a normal childhood. Her proud father adds, "She's on the honor roll, playing volleyball and softball, living life. She has all this joy. In the beginning lupus was winning. But now Cori is."