Kiwi comedian Dai Henwood has shared that he has been diagnosed and battling stage 4 bowel cancer since 2020.
In a Twitter post over the weekend, Henwood revealed that his cancer had spread from his bowel, liver and it’s “now in [his] lungs”.
He explained: ”Since then I’ve had so much chemotherapy, so many surgeries radiotherapy, everything, but right now I’m in a break of treatment for a few months.”
"Right now I thought it was time to be public with my diagnosis," Henwood added.
"I'm an authentic person and it was such a huge part of my life that I was hiding."
The news came as a shock to many Kiwis who have been following Henwood’s comedic career throughout the years.
Fellow Kiwi comedian Guy Williams shared a message of love and “much respect” for his “comedy hero”.
Another struggled to describe Henwood’s bravery for opening up publicly, so they decided to call it “beautiful, superb, heartbreaking, painful, amazing and more,” adding that he will “help more than just one person” who needs to hear words of positivity right now.
“Such courage to open up and share your story Dai. You are an inspiration on so many levels. Sending all the aroha,” wrote a third.
On Friday night, Henwood delved further into his diagnosis and ongoing battle in an interview with The Project’s Jaquie Brown.
"The universe doesn't have fair and unfair - it has events. And how you respond to the event defines you, not the event," he said.
"Cancer doesn't define me. How I respond to it defines me."
Many more flooded the comments of The Project’s Facebook page, applauding Henwood’s positivity through a rough time and wishing him all the best with his health and further treatment.
“Once again you have shown nothing but empathy and kindness and as always, think of others first and what you can do for them, even when your own struggles were immense. You have the love and prayers of over 5 million of your extended whānau behind you and your beautiful family,” wrote just one of the many Kiwis saddened by the news.
Another shared: “What you say about the dark places and the emotional trauma is so very real and the fear is incredibly confronting most days as you say. ‘Now Living by the clock, appreciate the moment’, ‘live every day’. I love your insight around ‘awakening’ and finding peace and calm and I’ll be using some of it in my own journey…”
“My bro that's so raw and one of the best interviews I've seen. You are a great man sharing something so personal with the world. Hope recovery is going well NZ is here for you and the whānau. Much love,” wrote a third.