World-renowned magician Criss Angel has opened up about his six-year-old son’s incredible bravery as he battles pediatric cancer.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, Angel became emotional discussing Johnny Crisstopher’s courage as he attempts to beat cancer following a relapse last November.
Johnny is undergoing chemotherapy and treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation in Vegas.
But Angel reveals that rather than being down about his illness, the ‘selfless’ boy is aiding other youngsters in a similar plight.
And Angel feels ‘proud’ of the ‘profound effect’ his condition has on Johnny’s outlook and behavior.
Criss Angel has opened up to DailyMailTV about his six-year-old son’s ongoing battle with cancer. He’s pictured wearing protective gear with his son Johnny Crisstopher and wife Shaunyl Benson
The master magician has provided $250,000 worth of donated food to 100 families treated at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, where his son is being treated. He’s pictured loading food items in the back of a car for the families
Choking back tears, he revealed how the kind-hearted boy cheered up a distraught fellow patient by handing him his toy car.
Recounting the moment he told DailyMailTV: ‘Johnny Crisstopher is a very unique boy.
‘He is selfless. This happened yesterday while he was here; I haven’t told anybody this story, it’s a true story. Johnny Crisstopher was here being treated. He was in a room, Shaunyl was with him, there was a little boy who was constantly crying. Johnny looked over to Shaunyl and said, ”Mommy, why is that boy crying?” And Shaunyl said he’s probably getting treated, he’s probably scared and Johnny Crisstopher says, ”I want to give him a Hot Wheel car.”
‘So the nurses cleaned it off, Johnny Crisstopher brought the Hot Wheel car to the little boy that was crying, and as soon as he saw Johnny Crisstopher, and Johnny Crisstopher gave him the Hot Wheel car, honest to God, he stopped crying.’
The TV illusionist said it’s moments like that that help him feel ‘positive’ and retain his faith in his son’s recovery.
‘I truly believe with God anything is possible,’ he said, adding: ‘There is a greater purpose.’
Angel says the COVID-19 pandemic has made him even more determined to support other cancer victims, whose health is further at risk.
And he insists his family’s challenges have made him ‘appreciate the moment you are in, even if it is during a crisis.’
‘I cannot be anymore proud of a six-year-old boy who sees the world that way,’ he says.
‘These kids that get affected, it has a profound effect on them. They look at things differently.
‘They don’t take things for granted. They’re in the moment and the moment is what we all have to be in and have to reflect on because we don’t know if we’re going to have the next moment.’
The 52-year-old says he’s hopeful his son will be in remission once again.
‘I just know that everything is going to be okay and that there’s a greater purpose and I’m here to do that purpose and that greater work.
‘And we are very positive because we have faith and with faith, there’s hope. And without it, it’s potentially devastating to not have hope.’
The 52-year-old says he’s hopeful his son will be in remission once again. ‘I just know that everything is going to be okay and that there’s a greater purpose and I’m here to do that purpose and that greater work,’ he said
Choking back tears, Angel revealed how his kind-hearted son cheered up a distraught fellow patient by handing him his toy car
Angel created the Johnny Crisstopher Children’s Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, to raise awareness of pediatric cancer and provide funds for research, treatment, and ultimately a cure
The master magician has turned his words into actions by providing $250,000 worth of donated food to 100 families treated at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, Nevada’s only pediatric cancer treatment center.
Partnering with The CORE Group, Angel showed his support in person by helping to load huge food and drink packages, enough to provide for six weeks, into the cars of families experiencing financial difficulties during the pandemic.
During the drive, Johnny and his mother Shaunyl Benson looked down from his hospital room watching his dad provide much needed help for those struggling during the health and economic crisis.
The star said: ‘My heart just goes out to these families that are not only dealing with what we are dealing with but have lost their jobs, have to make a choice between feeding their families or rent, and that’s just a horrible predicament to be in.
‘I am not in that situation because I have been so blessed in life that I just felt like it was my duty to do something positive and try to use my blessings for the greater good of humanity; for other people, for people that are going through this.
‘When you have pediatric cancer right now in this day in age, it’s a triple threat because you have the pediatric cancer, then you have the COVID-19 virus, which really for those kids going through this, their immune system is compromised. And getting that COVID virus is deadly.
‘For anybody that has an immune system that is compromised; elderly people or kids. And so to have that, and then on top of that not to have a job and not to be able to feed your family is just very emotional to me.’
Angel helped load huge food and drink packages, enough to provide for six weeks, into the cars of families experiencing financial difficulties during the pandemic
‘When you have pediatric cancer right now in this day in age, it’s a triple threat because you have the pediatric cancer, then you have the COVID-19 virus, which really for those kids going through this, their immune system is compromised. And getting that COVID virus is deadly,’ Angel said
Angel has given a lot of his time, money and support to the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, which continues to provide pediatric cancer treatments to all families during the COVID-19 outbreak
Through his son’s Johnny Crisstopher Children’s Charitable Foundation, Caesars Entertainment, and BASE Entertainment, 1,000 tickets were also donated to families and first responders to Angel’s MINDFREAK® shows when they resume.
The magician and his son are also overseeing a giant train set at the hospital to help cheer up the youngsters getting treatment.
Angel says that for many people worldwide COVID-19 has made them reassess their lives – similarly to how his family recalibrated with Johnny’s cancer diagnosis.
‘This is kind of a recheck and a restart in a lot of ways for our society because we never stop anymore and smell the flowers and realize what is important,’ he said.
‘We are so consumed by a fantasy digital world on our fingers that is not real. This is real. This community is real. These people here helping other people is real and that’s love and that’s a beautiful thing.’
Angel has given a lot of his time, money and support to the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, which continues to provide pediatric cancer treatments to all families during the COVID-19 outbreak including patients who are uninsured, underinsured and have been deeply impacted by the pandemic.
In November Angel learned Johnny Crisstopher’s cancer had relapsed after months of being in remission.
Angel and wife Benson have been by his side during his treatments at both Summerlin Hospital and Cure 4 the Kids Foundation with Dr. Alan Ikeda.
Johnny was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in October 2015.
In January last year the TV illusionist told DailyMailTV Johnny was cancer free after a tortuous three years of intense chemotherapy.
For more than a decade, Vegas headliner Angel has dominated the world of magic and has been named Magician of the Year an unprecedented six times.
In November, Angel learned Johnny Crisstopher’s cancer had relapsed after months of being in remission
He was recently given the highest honor in the magical arts – the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
And while his career soared his philanthropic endeavors too have been immense.
He created the Johnny Crisstopher Children’s Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, to raise awareness of pediatric cancer and provide funds for research, treatment, and ultimately a cure.
Unlike many other not-for-profit charities, 100% of donations go directly to this fight; with Angel funding the operations of the foundation personally which he has done since its inception in 2008.
Cure 4 The Kids Foundation exists to provide high-quality, research-focused medical treatment to children battling cancer and many other life-threatening conditions.
For more details visit www.cure4thekids.org