“I didn’t even want to go and do the test, because I had to fly to Melbourne to do it,” says the New Zealand–based star. “But she kept nagging me, saying, ‘I know, son, but come along. It will be good for you. These doctors know.’ ” He instructed doctors to give his mother the results, but “then she rang me up a week later, and she was crying, saying, ‘Son, they found cancer.’ And I was like, ‘That’s trippy’—and we both started laughing. I mean, not because it was funny—but what else can you do? It’s such a grim thing.’”
At the time he told no-one, opting to tell his story via a documentary. “In a way, it was how I processed something like this,” he says.
“In a creative way, I wanted to show people what it’s actually like—the good, the bad, the ugly ... Something like ‘cancer’—people can’t even say it. But I’m like, ‘Why? Don’t let it become you. Don’t let it own you. It doesn’t define you.’ ”
A year on, he and his mother are both cancer-free and have embarked on a new, healthier life. Walker has channelled his experience into music, releasing an EP of songs penned years ago, and a sweet tribute to his mum he wrote just before his diagnosis.
“I probably just closed the biggest chapter of my life, with this EP and this documentary,” he says. “Now, the music I’m making—I have so much coming out ...
To be honest, I can honestly say going through that cancer thing, and the last however many years of everything, I am so thankful—because I haven’t been this happy in so long. I can look at myself and 100 percent back myself that I’ve got this.”
Stan Walker: The Fight of His Life airs Mon., May 7 at 9.15 PM on Nine and 9Now.
This article originally appeared on WHO.