Magician Criss Angel’s five-year-old son is going back to the hospital. Johnny Chrisstopher’s cancer has returned.
The illusionist told TMZ this week, the little boy will be returning to the hospital next week. He was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia three years ago. Depending on the type of leukemia someone has, the cancer attacks the body’s blood forming tissues, including bone marrow and the lymphatic system.
TMZ caught up with Angel at LAX, the main airport near Los Angeles.
“Johnny Crisstopher — he got diagnosed with pediatric cancer before he was 2 years old — he’s been in treatment for over three years, he’s been in remission,” Angel, 51, said, “but unfortunately … he had a relapse and he’s going back into the hospital on Monday.”
Angel says he wanted his son with Australian actress Shaunyl Benson to enjoy time in California before getting treatment next week.
The boy has been spending time with people he loves at area theme parks, Angel said.
“That’s why we’re partly out here in California, because we take Johnny to Disney[land], I’m taking him to Universal [Studios] tomorrow,” Angel explained.
But even while Angel and his family are going through a devastating experience, he says he wants to help others and pay tribute to those who are sending their best for Chrisstopher. He says many people have shown their support and he wants to show his appreciation.
He says he will be hosting an event at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas next year. The goal: To raise funds to help children with pediatric cancer.
“We just want to thank everybody for their support over the years,” Angel told TMZ. “We want to try and raise five million bucks, so we need your help.”
Angel has previously said he has felt helpless while his son is going through such a traumatic experience. He said he found it difficult to watch his son go through treatment for cancer and all of the side effects that it created, including hair loss and a change in behaviour.
“Johnny is a happy, fun, loving boy, but the steroid treatments have a profound effect on his mood,” he told Peoplemagazine, noting there was also a change in behaviour.
“That’s hard to see, but that’s not our Johnny. That’s the steroids.”
He also shared how difficult it is to fear the loss of your child. Making it even more difficult was the fact he was separated from Benson, who was in Australia with their child. But the magician said at the time, he dropped everything to be with his child.
The experience also changed Angel. He said it gave him a new purpose. He also wished he could take away his child’s pain.
“My son is supposed to outlive me. I’d rather it be me that was sick,” Angel said at the time.
“I want Johnny’s future to be long and happy. That kid is just a bundle of love. He’s the truest form of magic.”