Actor and artist Val Kilmer this week shared with fans how religion and love helped cure his oral cancer.
Kilmer may have been diagnosed with the disease in 2015, and is a devout Christian Scientist. He bared details about his health challenge during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session. Prior to the admission, Kilmer refuted the claim from his friend Michael Douglas in October that the "Top Gun" actor had been diagnosed with the same type of throat cancer he had battled in 2010. In November, Kilmer said Douglas sent him an apology note after his comments about Kilmer battling cancer. Douglas himself beat cancer in 2013, according to People.
Kilmer first acknowledged he had cancer during a previous Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything") in April, revealing, "I did have a healing of cancer."
"I am very grateful for all the prayers and good thoughts from around the world. People that know I am a Christian Scientist make the assumption that I have somehow endangered myself. But many, many people have been healed by prayer throughout recorded history. And many, many people have died by whatever was modern medicine," the 57-year-old wrote this week in response to the question: "What would you want fans to know about having, and beating, the Big C.?"
Kilmer also wrote that multiple doctors prayed for him while he was hospitalized. "It was an unspeakable sense of universal support while I was briefly in the hospital," he shared. "Even two of my doctors mentioned praying with me, for me."
He said he also met the creator of the defibrillator, Dr. Bernard Lown, who told him that love was the most important medicine. "He started to weep without his voice wavering and he leaned into me and said, 'Fluff their pillow. That's what I tell all the interns. LOVE. Love heals. More than any other skills, I urge them to LOVE the life they are entrusted to save.' Well, that's what is at the heart of Mrs. Eddy's understanding of the teachings of Jesus," the "Batman Forever" star wrote.
Kilmer was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. He attended Berkeley Hall School, a Christian Science school in Los Angeles, until ninth grade, then he attended Chatsworth High School.
"I am a religious person. I do pray for specific needs. I do read the Bible every Sunday. I've read the Bible all of my life," he declared in 2005.
"I also pray for things that are going on in the world; it has given me a deeper sense of responsibility as a person."
According to Kilmer, Jesus "taught his students how to heal physical and mental challenges by understanding the immense power of love ... I have seen people turn down love. I have turned it down myself when I was younger."
Kilmer's most current acting project is embodying the American literary icon Mark Twain in the one-man stage show, Citizen Twain.