Stefan Karl Stefansson, the actor behind Robbie Rotten of Lazytown, is free of cancer for the time being.
Stefansson told RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, that he is free from Cholangiocarcinoma (bile-duct cancer) for the time being after undergoing two surgeries (as translated by batteries-included on Reddit).
The damn disease is gone. Until it comes back, whenever that will be, which will hopefully be never. Life is now. It’s almost a miracle that I’m still here.
Update – August 14: Stefansson took to his GoFundMe page to clear up a few things about his situation. He wrote that right now he is free of cancer metastases, or cancer that spreads to different parts of the body from where it started according to Cancer.net, after a successful liver surgery in June 2017 performed by Kristin Huld Haraldsdottir and Sigurdur Blöndal at the Icelandic University Hospital. They found the third metastasis during the surgery and removed it. He wrote that he’s receiving the best medicine available and the home care he needs thanks to the support from his fans. He’s even planning to go back on stage at the National Theatre of Iceland for their production of Stones in His Pocket this month, but only for 10 shows.
However, while he is free of metastases, he wrote that he is not completely free of cancer yet. He refused any further adjuvant therapy including chemotherapy because there is a less than three percent chance of it making any difference and may just make him more sick. If a metastasis comes back, they will try surgery or nothing at all. He promised to keep everyone posted and told his fans to cross their fingers and keep thinking of him.
…I’m here for you just like you are there for me. By standing together we stand stronger, as you have proved so often with your amazing letters, GoFundMe support and prayers. Me and my family are so thankful to you all, and we always will be.
Stefansson also teased a secret project that he will let everyone know about soon.
42-year-old Stefansson was first diagnosed with cancer in September 2016. In the interview with RUV he describes having one tumor removed after the other, with a huge tumor discovered during one of the surgeries. Part of his liver was removed but it will regenerate. He told RUV that he is one in 100,000 to get his type of cancer.
“Of course I get it,” Stefansson told RUV. “I’m one of a kind.”
Having cancer made Stefansson rethink his life and priorities, with him vowing to not take part in discussions on politics and negative topics which has previously taken up a lot of his time, he said in the interview. He is concerned about political discourse on the internet.
We are hanging around on Facebook and reading each others’ feeds. We are ‘stalkers,’ we are ‘stalking’ each others’ lives all day long and criticizing them. It’s kind of like standing by your window: ‘Look how he’s painting his house, he’s painting it green, I’d never paint my house green.’
Many people have asked him if death worries him, but he told RUV that death is an incredibly insignificant thing when life is so interesting and magnificent.
Let’s not cry and think ‘Woulda, coulda, shoulda,’ let’s stop looking in the rear-view mirror and look ahead onto the road because that heals all wounds. When I woke up after my first surgery, which is one of the most serious and dangerous surgeries they do on the human body, the nurses looked at me and said ‘Now you will have to go and heal yourself Stefán.’ That is one of the most profound things I have learned in my life.
However, he said that he does get depressed over the idea that he might miss getting to hold his grandchild’s hand or walking his daughters down the altar when they get married. But he has hope for the future of his children.
He also tries to bike 20 kilometers every day.
Stefansson is currently writing a stand-up comedy routine about cancer with stand-up comedian Ari Eldjarn, Stefansson said in the interview. Stefansson said that it’s important to be able to laugh at the illness, saying that while laughter doesn’t necessarily prolong your life but can make it easier. He recalls having to learn how to fart again after the surgery and doctors and nurses constantly check in on the last time he farted and how. He and Eldjarn are going to start testing in October and then premiere it soon after the beginning of next year.
Stefansson was born on July 10, 1975 in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland, according to The Sun. After graduating from the Icelandic Academy of Arts in Reykjavik, he worked with the National Theatre of Iceland.
He developed a passion for acting early thanks to the thriving community theatre in town and performed in his first play at age 13, he told Toronto Star. He told the publication that he was spending most of his time at the theatre by age 16.
Stefansson is well-known for portraying Robbie Rotten on the popular children’s TV show LazyTown, with his performance of the song We Are Number One becoming one of the biggest memes of 2016. His award-winning acting career expands well beyond that, with the actor playing the part of the Grinch in Running Subway Productions’ production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas the Musical and the singing sheep farmer in the popular Icelandic feature comedy Stella Runs for Office.
Stefansson is the founder and president of Regnbogaborn (Rainbow-Children), which, according to his LinkedIn page, “has become the leading Icelandic anti-bullying organization for children, teens, educators and parents.” He told Toronto Star that he was bullied by other classmates for spending so much time at the threatre, which lead him to found the organization in 2002 to help children who were bullied like he was.
Learn more about Stefansson by clicking the links below.