Nick Cannon is looking back on his decade-long health battle with lupus that “almost took” his life before receiving the diagnosis.
Cannon, 41, marked a decade since receiving his diagnosis with a throwback video featured on The Nick Cannon Show Tuesday. In the six-minute video, which is filmed in black-and-white, Cannon consults doctors, undergoes physical change and shifts his diet.
“Ten years ago, I experienced a sudden and mysterious illness that almost took my life,” Cannon told his audience before playing the video. “At the time, I had no idea it was lupus. And, you know me, I always have to have a camera on. So I would literally open up my phone, grab my camera and I would talk to the camera, and I documented the entire health journey.”
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation affecting a person’s “joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs,” according to the Mayo Clinic. There is currently no cure for the disease.
In the video, which begins Jan. 3, 2012, Cannon asks in a voiceover, “How did I get here? I mean, just a few days ago I was with my family in the snow, playing, having a good time.”
At the time, he was married to Mariah Carey; the two later split in 2016. They share two children: Monroe and Moroccan, both 10.
While Cannon was enjoying a winter trip with his family, he explains in the clip that he landed in the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath, swelling and pain. Doctors later told him he had kidney failure.
At one point, he even faces a near-fatal situation when his doctor finds blood clots in his lungs. In the hospital room alone, Cannon tells the camera, “It’s the last place you wanna be, man. Doctors telling you you could die.”
After the doctor discovers the clots in his lungs, Cannon is forced to cancel work commitments and focus on his health.
“I have been diagnosed with lupus, and after a decade of close calls, blood transfusions, chemotherapy and hospitalizations, I continue to push through,” he says in a voiceover. “Throughout this journey, I had to change everything about the way I live my life, and it wasn’t easy.”
Although Cannon had to make some dramatic life changes, he came out stronger in the end. He explains in the voiceover, “day-by-day I laid a foundation both mentally and physically to build back the life that I had almost lost to this disease.”
Since being diagnosed a decade ago, Cannon has used his platform to help others living with lupus. In 2014, he participated in the Lupus Foundation of America’s Washington, D.C. Walk to End Lupus Now.
Cannon has also worked with the Lupus Foundation of America. He told Lupus.org that he appreciates “being able to be that voice and use my celebrity for the proper awareness.”
Watch Nick talk about his journey below.