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Criss Angel: ‘I Wish That I Could Take’ My Son’s Cancer

Criss Angel’s 3-year-old son, Johnny, is putting on a brave face as he goes through treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “He’s just a great, very bright, very happy boy that unfortunately has to go through a horrible experience,” Angel, 49, tells Us Weekly exclusively. “But he’s doing as well as he can do and he’s a really tough little boy.”

The magician adds that Johnny, who he says loves swings and cartoons, is “responding really well to treatment and is very optimistic and very positive and quite frankly, he doesn’t know anything else because he’s so young.”

Still, watching his only child (with ex-wife Shaunyl Benson) go through daily rounds of chemotherapy — which Angel predicts will occur for the next 16 months —makes the famed illusionist wish that he could suffer instead of his son. “I wish that I could take that disease and let him be free of it,” he says. “No child should have to go through what he’s going through.”

Related: Star Dads Bond With Their Kids: Cute Pics

After Johnny was diagnosed in October 2015, Angel revealed months later that his son was on the mend. “Johnny is technically in remission, thank God,” Angel told Us in June 2016. “I believe he will be healed.”

Despite his son’s struggle with his health, Angel, whose real name is Christopher Sarantakos, acknowledges the importance of not letting the situation derail their happiness. “You always have to be optimistic. You always have to be positive. You always have to be focused on the good things,” Angel, who will receive his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 20, tells Us. “ Life can throw challenges at you at any time and you never know what’s gonna happen and that’s what is life. It’s that you have to be positive and accept it as a journey, that it’s gonna have peaks and balance and that you’re always gonna persevere.”

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