By Zack Sharf
Ashton Kutcher revealed on a new episode of National Geographic’s “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge” that he was diagnosed with a rare form of vasculitis nearly two years ago. The disease left the actor unable to hear or see for an extended period of time. Kutcher said it took almost a full year to recover from the disease.
“Like two years ago I had a weird, super-rare form of vasculitis that knocked out my vision, knocked out my hearing and knocked out all my equilibrium,” Kutcher said. “It took me like a year to build it all back up again. 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.’”
Kutcher added that he’s “lucky to be alive.” Vasculitis is an autoimmune disease that results in the inflammation of the blood vessels. Various diseases such as Cogan’s syndrome fall under the category of vasculitis. Kutcher did not disclose the specifics of his diagnosis.
“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 added about his personal growth following the diagnosis. “You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them.”
Kutcher recently popped up in a supporting role in B.J. Novak’s feature directorial effort “Vengeance.” He’ll soon reprise his breakout role of Michael Kelso in “That ’90s Show,” Netflix’s upcoming sequel series to “That ’70s Show.”
“It was really nostalgic to be back on the set,” Kutcher told Variety at the red carpet premiere of “Vengeance” last month. “It’s all the same folks that made ‘That ’70s Show,’ so it was pretty bizarre.”
Kutcher went on to explain that he and his wife, his “That ’70s Show” costar Mila Kunis, felt a return to the property was the right thing to do. As the actor said, “Mila and I were contemplating it. We thought, ‘Listen, we’re only in the position that we’re in because of that show, so let’s just go back and do this. We just went back and had fun for a week. It was so random and fun.”
Watch a preview of Kutcher’s appearance on “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge” in the video below.