Johnny Ruffo reveals his 'devastating' cancer blow on The Project

Pop star Johnny Ruffo swallowed tears as he opened up to Carrie Bickmore on The Project about his ‘devastating’ cancer news, admitting that it’s terminal.

In the emotional interview, the former Home and Away star revealed that the hardest part of his diagnosis is thinking about how his girlfriend Tahnee Sims will deal with his death.

L: Johnny Ruffo upset on The Project. R: Johnny Ruffo's girlfriend kisses him in selfie, he has a scar from brain operation
Johnny Ruffo had to hold back tears during the emotional interview. Photo: Instagram/johnny_ruffo

“I can only imagine how difficult it [has] been for her. What plays in my head a lot is, I hate to say this, but how hard it may be for her if something does happen to me,” he told Carrie.

Choking back tears, he elaborated on his fear: “It just gets me a little bit emotional about it. Because I know that at some point, something will happen, whether it’s, you know, a month from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years.”


The star was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 and had a successful operation to remove the tumour. While he recovered and was in remission in 2019, the singer announced that the cancer had returned in late 2020.

“The cancer had come back, which was fairly devastating because I thought I was in remission,” he told Carrie.

“It’s terminal cancer, so at some point, it’s going to get me, but I’m still fighting, still kicking on.”

The X Factor contestant told The Project host that the average life expectancy for his type of cancer was only three years, but he’s already beaten that.

“For me, it’s already been five years. My goal is now to help as many people as I can, and live a happy life.”

L: Selfie of Johnny Ruffo and his girlfriend holding his brand new book. R: Johnny Ruffo smiles from the hospital bed after surgery
The star was promoting his new book about his life. Photo: Instagram/johnny_ruffo

‘So proud’

The star was on the show to promote his new book, called ‘No Finish Line’. Johnny shared a first look at the cover last month, along with an excited comment.

“So proud to see this come to life,” he wrote. “I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.”

His Home and Away family were quick to congratulate the actor, with Lynne McGranger gushing over the news.

“So proud of you my friend. Oh boy have you climbed some mountains. Keep climbing darling and chookas with your fabulous book. Love you,” she wrote.

“Congratulations Johnny, can’t wait to read,” added Emily Symons.

L: Johnny Ruffo gets pushed in a wheelchair by his mum. R: Carrie Bickmore smiles in an interview
Carrie asked Johnny about his visit to the sperm bank with his mum. Photo: Ten

‘How awkward is that?’

The Project’s Carrie Bickmore couldn’t help but ask the author about one of her favourite parts in his book — a hilarious X-rated interaction with his mum at a sperm bank.

In case Johnny wants children in the future, his mum took him to make a deposit at a sperm bank.

“Oh don’t! Mum’s sitting in the waiting room and I’m having a wank,” he laughed.

“How awkward is that? Oh don’t!” he exclaimed, before covering his face with his hand.

When the host said he won’t have been the first person to have gone through this unique situation, Johnny agreed quickly.

“I can imagine, and I won’t be the last,” he said.

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