Television host, producer, writer, director, and actor Nick Cannon shared with his talk show audience on Tuesday on both YouTube and Instagram that his youngest child, Zen, has passed away at just five-months-old. Zen was the youngest of Cannon’s seven children and was born on June 23, 2021. The infant was Cannon’s child with model Alyssa Scott.
“Over the weekend I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus that was pretty much a malignant, invasive midline brain tumor, brain cancer,” an emotional Cannon said. “It’s tough.”
“Hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. The excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
“I didn’t know how I was going to handle today,” Cannon told his audience. “But I wanted to grieve with my family.”
“I am here to show I can fight through this. I feel it, I am vulnerable, I am open, but I’m gonna make it through,” Cannon said, as he was brought to tears several times in front of the live studio audience of The Nick Cannon Show.
“This is a special show dedicated to my beautiful son Zen,” he said. Watch below:
Nick Cannon then shared his son’s medical journey.
“I always noticed he had a cough … and so I wanted to check it out,” Cannon, 41, explained. “He always had this real interesting breathing, and then by the time he was 2 months old, I noticed … he had a nice-sized head — I call it a Cannon head.”
He continued, “We didn’t think anything about it … but I really wanted to take him to the doctor for the breathing and to get his sinuses checked out. We thought it would be a routine process.”
Unfortunately, there was nothing “routine” about any of it. Zen underwent surgery to have a shunt put in to drain the fluid. Sadly, his health took a dramatic turn for the worse around Thanksgiving, so Cannon flew from New York to Los Angeles to be with Zen and Scott. “It was cancer in the brain and the tumor began to grow a lot faster. And so we knew that time was … ,” he said, choking up.
“This weekend I made a valid effort to spend the most quality time I could spend with Zen. We woke up on Sunday … and (went) to the ocean … and then I had to fly back to New York for the show,” he shared while breaking down in tears. “By the time I got in the car and was headed to the airport, I had to turn around.”
“I turned around and not only did we get to see the sunrise, but we got to see the sunset too,” he said.
Cannon shared that he held his son for the last time on Sunday.
“You can’t heal until you feel,” he told the audience, adding that he’s at work so soon after because it serves as a distraction.
Cannon said he “embraced every moment” of his young son’s life, and praised Zen’s mom.
“Alyssa was just, like, the strongest woman I’ve ever seen,” Cannon said. “She never had an argument, never was angry, was emotional when she needed to be, but was always the best mom and continues to be the best mom possible.”
Cannon, who had thanked the doctors at Children’s Hospital of Orange County for all their help and care, then went on with the show.
Cannon then brought therapist and TV host Dr. Laura Berman on to discuss the grief of losing a child. After Cannon shared the news with his viewers, Alyssa shared photos and videos of Zen on her Instagram Story.
Cannon is also father to twins Moroccan and Monroe who are 10-years-old with ex-wife Mariah Carey, 4-year-old son Golden and 1-year-old daughter Powerful with Brittany Bell and twins Zion and Zillion with Abby De La Rosa who are 5 months old.
Reel 360’s hearts go out to Nick Cannon and his family.