Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez, a singer with the hip-hop band Black Eyed Peas, was shocked when he heard the “C” word in an emergency room.
The six-time Grammy winner had suffered from chronic pain after he fell off a stage in 2006. In 2014, he was feeling the pain intensify in his back and abdomen, and went to the emergency room. After a few tests, the doctor came to Taboo and told him he had testicular cancer.
“The first thing I felt was shock and confusion. I could only think about my kids,” Taboo said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego on Wednesday.
The next day, he went into surgery, followed by an aggressive chemotherapy. “There were times I wanted to give up,” he said. “It was brutal.”
His cancer is now in remission.
These days Taboo is trying to help provide better health care access on Native American reservations. He’s also visiting cancer centers to give patients emotional and mental support.
In addition to his new missions, he says he’s also been blessed in other ways after cancer. Despite concerns that he may not be able to have a child after his chemotherapy, Taboo and his wife welcomed a baby girl in 2015.