The Black Panther actor was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in 2016, and it progressed to Stage IV before he passed away.
Some celebrities leave a big mark on their fans. While some touch people's lives through incredible talent, some touch lives throug their generous heart. And then there are some who become cultural icons onscreen and in real life. Their courage, kindness, and charm set them apart because there are too few of those genuine gems around. To lose someone that great is a travesty.
Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer at the age of 43, was a great artist who gave as much as possible to his fans while fighting a private battle with a terminal illness. His family released a statement saying he was diagnosed in 2016 with stage III colon cancer and "battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. "
"A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy," the statement read. It also mentioned that playing King T’Challa in Black Panther was the biggest honor of his career.
The Marvel studios film featuring a Black superhero touched the lives of many people. The character and Boseman himself became icons for young people who have never seen any superheroes of color onscreen. Apart from this, the new information that he was battling a terminal disease while shooting for multiple movies puts his life and career into a new light.
The Marshall actor had a special connection with children who were fighting cancer. He had visited a hospital to meet children who were fighting the same battle themselves. "It’s not every day that St. Jude gets a visit from an Avenger! Thank you @ChadwickBoseman for stopping by to bring joy to our patients and learn more about our lifesaving mission!," the St. Jude Children's Hospital tweeted on September 12, 2018, according to NBC News.
The hospital he had visited paid tribute to the Howard University alum in a social media post on August 29. "Two years ago, Chadwick visited the St. Jude campus and brought with him not only toys for our patients but also joy, courage, and inspiration. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time," the hospital said in the post. "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Chadwick Boseman."
The actor had also mentioned in a 2018 interview that he had been corresponding with two boys who had cancer. Before Black Panther's release, the actor had opened up about his connection with the young children and the video of him talking about is more poignant now. While fighting with cancer himself, he had mentioned how important this movie was to those kids, and he broke down when he said that the boys died before the release of the movie.
"There are two little kids, Ian and Taylor, who recently passed from cancer, and throughout our filming, I was communicating with them, knowing that they were both terminal," Boseman said, according to Entertainment Weekly. "And their parents said, 'They're trying to hold on until this movie comes.'...It's a humbling experience, because you're like, 'This can't mean that much to them.' But seeing how the world has taken this on, how it's taken on a life of its own, I realize that they anticipated something great."
"I think back now to [being] a kid, and waiting for Christmas to come, waiting for my birthday to come, waiting for a toy that I was gonna get a chance to experience, or a video game, I did live life waiting for those moments," he continues. "And so it put me back in the mind of being a kid, just to experience those two little boys' anticipation of this movie."
Unable to continue through his tears then, he adds, "Yeah. It means a lot."
Less than two years after he spoke about the children, the actor passed away as well having given us some of his best works and much inspiration through his generous heart.