Since his stint on the famous Aussie soap, the singer and actor have come a long way.
The life of Johnny Ruffo has been far from ordinary.
The 32-year-old ‘s time in the limelight started in 2011 when he finished third in the Australian talent show X-Factor, before winning himself a stint on classic Aussie soap Home and Away as the lovable larrikin Chris Harrington.
But three years ago, when he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, things took a turn.
For a period of time, the Aussie celeb had suffered bad migraines until his girlfriend Tahnee Simms persuaded him to get a hospital check-up.
The trajectory of his life changed what transpired. The singer and soap star needed surgery to remove the 7-cm brain tumor before undergoing radiation and chemotherapy after confirming he had brain cancer.
He’s already cancer-free, and he’s using his profile from his TV career after his turbulent path to support people who are going through anything similar.
Johnny leads a team of twelve ‘superhero’ kids from hospitals across Australia as an ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation who will test toys ahead of Christmas.
Identified as ‘Amazon Playmakers’, the kids will partner with the online retail giant to announce the top 100 holiday toys and trends.
And to top it off, all toys bought on Black Friday to Cyber Monday (27 November-30 November) shopping madness days will be donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation for $5.
It’s an awesome initiative, “says Johnny to Now To Love.”
It’s tough for children, they don’t realize what they’re going through while they’re unwell a lot of the time. That’s why the Starlight Children’s Foundation is so fantastic. You see them smiling and laughing and having fun while you’re there.
They forget about anything going on in their lives for just a little bit.
Other than his appearances in popular Aussie shows such as Home and Away, Neighbours and even Dancing with the Stars, it’s one of his most important gigs to date, not that they were not a treat to see as well.
“Staying optimistic is vital,” Johnny says of getting through the harder times.
That’s a lot more complicated than it actually sounds, but it’s just trying to remain optimistic for me. You should try to set small targets for yourself. To get through the week, I used to do that, ” he says.
And exercise, particularly for children if they can, is extremely important-try to stay healthy. It can help a great deal.
Support is also vital, says Johnny. While Johnny has been battling the disease for three years now, the role of his girlfriend Tahnee in his life is just as important.
“I could not be here without her,” he told us.
“When it first happened, she was the one who made me get in the car. And she inspires me to do stuff. She keeps me busy, gets me to go for runs and swimming.”
Johnny has also been busy doing what he enjoys most-acting and singing, in addition to keeping his safe, active lifestyle.
He recently made an appearance in Neighbours in a crossover moment, where he played the unlikely part of a prison guard.
“I’ve had a lot of positive input,” he says of the experience.
“The creators and the episodes have been fantastic and maybe they’ve got me back … who knows!” he says.
As for Home and Away, while in the very near future he probably won’t be returning to Summer Bay, never say never in Johnny’s case.
“I would love to go there. Who knows? One day maybe …”
And his partnerships with fellow actors will no doubt last a lifetime, whether he returns to the show or not.