“Cancer. The really bad kind.” These are words that changed Markiplier’s life.
In a YouTube video titled “Draw My Life,” Markiplier reflects on his childhood, including his parents’ divorce and a big breakup. Through this video, fans found out that Markiplier’s life has also been touched deeply by cancer, which he discusses at length. The video, posted in May 2013, has since garnered over 29 million views.
Markiplier’s father’s cancer
In the Draw My Life video, Markiplier explains how he found out about his fathers’ cancer diagnosis through a written letter. Markiplier remembers,
He put a piece of paper in front of me and just let me read it without saying anything. I was a pretty smart kid, so I understood every word that it said, all the techno mumbo jumbo, but the main thing is that basically in big bold letters it said ‘Cancer,’ and the really bad kind.
Markiplier’s father ended up passing away from cancer in 2008 – his last words to his son were: “I love you, so much.”
Markiplier himself does not currently have cancer, though he did have a tumor the size of a fist in his adrenal gland, causing extraordinary pain. In the video, Markiplier does not discuss if the tumor was cancerous.
After his father’s death from cancer and then having his own tumor removed, Markiplier recalls feeling like everything in his life was out of his control.
He remembers recovering from surgery in the hospital for two weeks, thinking about what he had done with his life. “Finally, I decided enough was enough, and I was going to do what I wanted.” He created his YouTube channel in 2012, where he uploads streams of playing video games, along with some comedy sketches. His channel has since grown to over 27 million subscribers and is still growing. He is also known to do charity live streams and has been referred to as the ‘most caring YouTuber.’
Using his success to give back
When Markiplier’s subscriber count began to approach the 20 million mark, he made an unexpected announcement: when he hit the milestone, he’d celebrate by selling a calendar of ‘tasteful’ nudes. In March 2018, the YouTuber stripped down and followed through on his promise by releasing a $30, PG-13 calendar for fans. The calendar, humorously tasteful, featured popular characters like Darkiplier and the two Jims. If that’s not personal enough, he took the time to hand-sign each calendar sold. It made headlines as an overnight success, raising $500,000 for the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) in New York City within 48 hours.
This isn’t the first time Markiplier – with the help of his fanbase – has given back to cancer research. In 2013, he raised $8,000 for the CRI in 9 hours.
Markiplier has given to many other charities, but cancer research remains close to his heart.
Markiplier does not have cancer. His father passed away from lung cancer in 2008, and several years later Markiplier had surgery to remove a large tumor. These events led him to change his life and start his YouTube channel, which is now an enormous success. Markiplier gives back by hosting charity streams and has spearheaded large donations to the Cancer Research Institute.