Sam Simon, who co-developed The Simpsons, has decided to give away his $100million fortune to animal rights organisation PETA and a number of to other humanitarian charities.
The director, producer and writer joined Matt Groening and James L Brooks to create the popular animated cartoon series in 1989. He assembled and led the original team of writers, and has been described as the “unsung hero” of the sitcom by former Simpsons director Brad Bird.
However, Simon was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago and given just three months to give.
"They showed me my scans," he told NBC. "They said these are the scans of a dead man. I said, 'Is it curable?' And they said, 'We don't use that word.' He said, 'I can’t cure you, but my job is to keep you alive.' And he’s done a remarkable job of it. I feel great, never been happier, so thank you doctor."
He decided to use his fight with cancer to do more philanthropic work. He has been working with PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk to help raise money for the animal rights charity “planning a series of animal liberations and actions”
He is also a board member for Save The Children and runs his own animal charity the Sam Simon Foundation.
"Cancer is a horrible disease. It’s a journey; a fight, it’s tough," he said. "But if you want publicity, if you want to pick up girls, cancer is the greatest thing in the world.
"A lot of its selfish, I get to watch these animals, that have been in concrete bunkers their whole life, I get to watch them take their first steps on grass.
"I feel it is my responsibility to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves."
He said that, while his battle hasn't been easy, he can see the positive.
"Somehow I ended up surrounded by people who love me and take care of me and will do anything for me.," he said. "That is called happiness. I think I may have had a problem letting it in before.
"Cancer has been a fight, a journey, an adventure and the most amazing experience of my life."Reuse content