Korean celebrities are humans, too, and they're prone to illnesses, just like everyone else. In the past years, a number of them were revealed to have been diagnosed with medical conditions which resulted in their hiatus in the industry. Fortunately, they were able to receive immediate treatment and therapy.
Below is a list of Korean stars who suffered from serious illnesses with updates on their health:
1. Kim Woo Bin
In 2017, Kim Woo Bin shocked the world when his former agency, Sidus HQ, announced that he was diagnosed with nasopharynx cancer. According to them, Woo Bin was "extremely busy with his schedules as of late and during this period, he felt his body's condition wasn't good so he went to the hospital", and that's when he found out about his medical condition. After more than two years, the 31-year-old was able to receive therapy and recover. Currently, he's in talks to star in the K-drama Our Blues alongside his girlfriend, Shin Min Ah.
2. Kim Bum
Kim Bum suffered from degenerative arthritis in his early 20s and this was revealed in 2018 through his management label. In the same year, the Boys Over Flowers actor shared in an interview with High Cut magazine that he took a break from work so he can go to the hospital for his treatment. In a separate report by the Korea JoongAng Daily, the actor's drastic weight loss for his K-drama, Padam Padam, and his involvement in a 2009 car accident also contributed to this sickness. As of present, Kim Bum is in good physical condition and is leading the JTBC drama, Law School.
3. Shin Sung Rok
Last month, My Love From The Star actor Shin Sung Rok tested positive for COVID-19, four days after an initially negative result came out. Apparently, he felt ill when he was in self-quarantine and requested to be tested again. By May 10, he was able to recover and was discharged from the hospital.
4. Uhm Jung Hwa
Due to thyroid cancer. Uhm Jung Hwa had to take an eight-year break from the industry and she shared her struggles in an episode of Yoo Hee Yeol's Sketchbook: "I had to get surgery, but during the surgery, it damaged my nerves. Actually, I didn’t talk about this before I made this album. I thought there might be problems if I revealed that I had hurt my throat and so I just endured them by myself. One part of my vocal cords became paralyzed and I couldn’t talk for eight months." She also mentioned that she couldn't imagine going back on stage after what happened. Jung Hwa was able to overcome her illness and became a member of the project group, Refund Sisters, last year where she showcased her idol skills.
5. Choi Sung Won
Back in 2016, Reply 1988's Choi Sung Won felt something unusual with his body and he noticed that his bruises took a longer time to heal. When he visited the hospital, he was diagnosed with acute leukemia. After a year, he was finally cancer-free and he went back to musical and drama acting. Sadly, Sung Won was diagnosed with leukemia once again in December 2020 and is currently receiving treatment. His agency said that although he's not in his healthiest state, his condition is "not anything serious."
6. Jung Il Woo
During the press conference for the K-drama Haechi, Jung Il Woo mentioned the most difficult challenge he faced was being diagnosed with cerebral aneurysm at the age of 28. This life-threatening illness prevented him from going out and ultimately caused his anxiety and depression. At the same time, Il Woo shared that he was also able to change his outlook: "You only get one chance at life, so I wanted to make the most of every day. I realized that it is okay to enjoy life and comfortably show people who I really am." The actor has come a long way after his diagnosis and is currently cast in the historical drama, Bossam: Steal the Fate.
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