Criss Angel Says Seeing Son Johnny, 7, 'Going Through Hell' with Cancer Was the 'Hardest Part'

The magician announced last month that his son Johnny Crisstopher’s cancer is in remission

Criss Angel family
Photo: Criss Angel/Instagram

Criss Angel is reflecting on the "hell" his 7-year-old son Johnny Crisstopher has gone through on his cancer journey.

Last month, the 54-year-old illusionist announced that his son Johnny — whom he shares with Shaunyl Benson — entered remission after more than five years since his cancer diagnosis, posting a video of the moment he rang the bell in celebration of the milestone on social media.

Reflecting on the experience, Angel recently revealed the "hardest part" of the journey during an interview with Extra.

"Seeing my kid, you know, going through hell. Not understanding what was going on," he explained, noting the moment Johnny's cancer came back after his first brief remission in 2019. "My child had a type of cancer called ALL [B-Cell A.L.L. Leukemia]. It was 95% curable, but unfortunately somebody had to make up the 5% and that's why he had a relapse."

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Angel told the outlet that he's hoping Johnny will "be in remission forever" as the magician now uses his platform to advocate and raise money for other families in the same predicament.

"We need to go to, you know, [persuade] the powers that be at the government, and try to get more funding … to find a cure … And that's what I hope '1095' does," Angel added, referencing the short film he released documenting Johnny's entire battle with cancer.

Johnny was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2015 and had a brief remission before his dad revealed in December 2019 that his child's cancer had come back.

Last month, Angel released the nearly 14-minute long short film is titled "1095" — representing the 1,095 chemotherapy sessions needed to treat his son's type of leukemia.

In the clip, Angel shares footage from numerous doctor's visits as well as emotional discussions between Angel and Benson — who are also parents to son Xristos Yanni, 2, and daughter Illusia Angelina, 3 months — about Johnny.

Additionally, Angel said in the short film that he hopes to raise "hundreds of millions of dollars" toward pediatric cancer because he'd "rather be remembered for the work that I did with kids than the work that I did as a magician."

"I'm just trying to be a light, shine a light on this cause and trying to raise money and trying to raise awareness," he told Extra. "I realized very soon that 50 cars don't make you happy, that 25,000-square-foot house doesn't make you happy … I believe it's a blessing in my life to do the greater good. The greater work for children."

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