Different people face different struggles when it comes to their health, and sometimes, speaking openly of the issues they experience is hard but when celebrities do it they help raise awareness and encourage others to seek help as they remind them they are not alone.

In an episode of National Geographic’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge, actor Ashton Kutcher opened up about a condition that left him unable to see, hear, or walk. He described it as a “weird, super-rare form of vasculitis” he experienced around two years ago.

“You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone, until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to see again; I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to hear again; I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to walk again,’” the actor said.

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First published by Access Hollywood, a clip of the episode shows Kutcher saying “Lucky to be alive,” as he goes on to explain that his recovery lasted around a year.

Mayo Clinic describes vasculitis as inflammation of the blood vessels that can cause the walls of the blood vessels to thicken, which reduces the width of the passageway through the vessel. If blood flow is restricted, it can result in organ and tissue damage.

The types are many and most of them are rare. The treatment depends on the type, but large number of them require medications to control the inflammation and prevent flare-ups. This condition, which may affect a single organ or more, can be either short term or long lasting.

In most cases, the reasons that cause this condition are unknown but they are certainly related to the immune system that sees body’s parts as foreign and attacks them.

Possible triggers for this immune system reaction include infections, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C, blood cancers, reaction to certain drugs, and conditions related to the immune system such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma.

Kutcher didn’t go into details about which type exactly he was diagnosed with nor what treatment he received. He, however, said that the disease gave him some perspective on life.

“The minute you start seeing your obstacles as things that are made for you to give you what you need, then life starts to get fun,” Kutcher says in the clip. “You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them.”

We are glad this great actor and awesome human being was able to overcome his health issues.

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