Jerry Lewis suffers from a number of chronic illnesses, including pulmonary fibrosis and prostate cancer. Doctors diagnosed Lewis with pulmonary fibrosis in 2001 after he sought treatment for shortness of breath.
Lewis also suffered two heart attacks, and he suffers from chronic back pain. Lewis believes he suffers the chronic back pain because he hurt himself performing a comedic fall many years ago.
Prednisone medication slowed the growth of Lewis' pulmonary fibrosis, but it caused Lewis to gain a significant amount of weight. Lewis also openly discussed ongoing emotional pain after his son committed suicide after a struggle with drug addiction.
Despite Lewis' illness, he hosted the Muscular Dystrophy's annual telethon until 2011. For Lewis' efforts, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2009 Oscars ceremony.