In 2010, Michael Douglas was diagnosed with stage four tongue cancer, which proved a difficult time for the actor and his family. And in a school speech, his son Dylan opened up about how his father's illness had impacted his life. In a throwback video shared on Catherine Zeta-Jones' Instagram account, the then-schoolboy got up on stage to talk about his battle with dyslexia, and touched upon his homelife at the time. He said: "My first few years in America were hard, my mother was working in Broadway and was working when I was sleeping, and asleep when I was up. Also during this time, my father was diagnosed with stage four cancer."
Watch Dylan Douglas speak at his school
Dylan Douglas gave a speech at his school and reflected on Michael Douglas' cancer
Dylan told the audience that during this period of his life, he felt lonely at home, but at his school, The Winward School, he felt free, because he was finally getting help with his dyslexia, something he had been struggling with since the age of five. "At home, I was alone, but at school I was far from lonely. At Winward I was free. It was like the Mecca of dyslexics," he said. Touching upon happier times, Dylan added: "In 2010 everything was normal again at home, I could finally see my mum again and my dad was cancer free. Everything was beautiful again."
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Michael with Dylan and daughter Carys
Michael battled tongue cancer, and underwent chemo and radiation therapies. The Hollywood star has opened up about his cancer in past interviews, telling Paris Match: "It's weird, I know, but during the whole period of chemotherapy and radiation, it never crossed my mind that I could die."
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Dylan and Carys with their parents when they were children
The actor also said that his daughter Carys, 16, gives him meaning. "It's mostly my 16-year-old daughter Carys, who makes me realise how old I am," he said. "She often tells me: 'Do you realise dad, that when I'm 25 you will be 83?' When she explains to me that she's afraid that I won't be here when she gets married, tears come to my eyes." Since being given the all-clear from cancer, Michael now goes to get check ups every six months, and said: "I believe and I hope that I've escaped." The Fatal Attraction actor added: "One thing is certain, my cancer has made me a free man."
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