LIFE

Samuel Johnson Describes Heartbreaking Moment Of Sister's Cancer Diagnosis

The Gold Logie winner has opened up about Connie Johnson's battle.

05/07/2017 9:10 PM AEST | Updated 05/07/2017 9:10 PM AEST

Gold Logie winner Samuel Johnson has described the heart-wrenching moment he first found out his sister, Connie, had been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.

In an emotional appearance on 'Anh's Brush With Fame', Johnson said 37-year-old Connie's diagnosis started when she couldn't put weight on one leg and was taken to the doctor.

"I'll never forget the moment, the afternoon when I found out. I was waiting for my tennis lesson out in the front yard, just playing my strokes, you know? And Dad didn't turn up, and it was very unlike my dad to not be there if he said he was gonna be there," he said.

"...He drove an old s---ty blue Torana at the time. I remember the car coming into the driveway and me thinking, 'I'm not gonna make my tennis lesson now.' And I looked through the window and my sister was in the front seat [hunched up and], just wouldn't look anywhere.

"Then I looked over at my dad and Dad was just white. He was just white. I was like, 'S--t, something's gone wrong here, man.

"And before I could ask Dad... And I've always been a good lip-reader because I'm half-deaf, and I could read his lips. He looked at her and said, 'stay here,' and then walked inside and ignored me. I was right there. And I followed him inside, and he was curled up on the couch in the foetal position, sobbing, just weeping, just bawling."

While Connie eventually went on to beat the cancer produced from the bone tumour, she was diagnosed with cancer of the womb 11 years later at the age of 22 which required chemotherapy and led to her beating cancer for a second time.

And then she ultimately contracted terminal breast cancer after having two children -- something which Johnson told Do his whole family has been struggling with.

"Connie was a cancer beater. She'd beaten it twice. She had framed her whole identity around being a cancer vanquisher. And then she was told -- with a three and four-year-old -- that this time she wasn't gonna beat it," he said.

"This time, no matter how hard she tried, she'd have to farewell her kids. And that was hard for her because she had really come to understand herself as somebody who could beat this stuff.

"She's at the part where there's no good news. Like, we keep finding stuff that kind of puts a smile on her face but there's really no avoiding the reality for her now. So, it's really kind of time to lock arms and walk with her, you know?"

You can check out Do's depiction of Johnson below -- which will also be auctioned with all proceeds going to cancer research.

After beginning a career in acting, Johnson made a shock retirement from showbiz to focus on Connie and the Love Your Sister campaign as his older sibling battles breast cancer. His vow was that he would not return to acting until the charity had raised $10 million for cancer research.

Since then, he embarked on a year-long trip across the country on a unicycle, breaking a world record and raising $1.75 million.

In April this year, Connie decided to stop all cancer treatment and chemotherapy.

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