Last October, Criss Angel’s 2-year-old son, Johnny (who he shares with ex-wife Shaunyl Benson), was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He’s currently in remission, and Angel has decided to share his journey with the hope of raising awareness for the cause.
Speaking during an interview with People magazine, Angel gushed about his son, referring to him as “a bundle of love and the truest form of magic.”
Speaking of his son’s battle with cancer, Angel shed light on how he was first diagnosed, explaining, “He was having fevers that come and go and nosebleeds, and then we realized that something wasn’t right, and that’s when he was diagnosed with pediatric cancer, specifically ALL.”
The family went through an incredibly difficult time, but Angel now believes that what Johnny went through was “because there is a greater purpose for me.”
He explained during the interview how the situation left him feeling helpless, and he started to think about all the children and families he’d met during his work with kids and how they must have felt. He felt he had to take this awful news and do something positive with it.
This led him to the decision to make a documentary, titled 1095 (the number of days that Johnny will be treated for), about Johnny’s journey, an opportunity to show how the illness affects not only the sufferer but the entire family. Its aim is to offer hope and remind others that they are not alone in the world.
“We wanted to have that for other families who might get that unfortunate news, so at least they can watch how we coped with it, how we dealt with it. And the emotions that arise, like, ‘I would rather it be me than my son,'” Angel said of the decision to create the film. “My son is supposed to outlive me, and many of these kids don’t outlive their parents.”
It’s a beautiful reason to make a documentary, and one that will hopefully serve as a small semblance of comfort to those going through similar situations.
While Angel is thankful for the success he’s enjoyed in his career, he believes it was “self-gratifying” and without purpose, adding that what happened to Johnny “really made me feel like it wasn’t by accident — this was for a purpose. It was to help other children that don’t have a voice.”
If you want to find out more, you can visit Criss Angel’s HELP (Heal Every Life Possible) page.