Lance Gross on Chadwick Boseman’s death and Black health

Lance Gross shared that Chadwick Boseman's death prompted him to get tested for colon cancer

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Lance Gross is sharing the impact Chadwick Boseman’s death had on him and is imploring others to make their health a priority.

Gross, who stars on House of Payne, joined theGrio’s Nayo Campbell for theGrioLIVE on Wednesday. He spoke about his hit show returning, being a Howard University alum, and his feelings on the passing of Boseman who died of colon cancer on Aug. 28.

Read More: Chadwick Boseman’s ’42’ to return to theaters as tribute to actor

“He was a powerful brother. Him walking into a room, he commanded your attention, your respect. Now I didn’t know him well but conversations that I have had with him, he was just a stand up guy and now that he’s gone, we’re learning so much more about him,” he said.

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Gross praised the Black Panther star, who also portrayed Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall, as a figure who offered a younger generation of children hope and serving as an example of what was possible.

“His work will live on. His spirit will live on and I think he accomplished a lot of the stuff he was here for,” the actor said. “He definitely changed my life and I know he changed the life of many. A lot of children just look up to him, seeing him. It was kind of like having [President Barack] Obama elected.”

Following Boseman’s death at 43 from cancer, Gross made an appointment with his doctor. Boseman’s death hit close for him as his loved ones have also been diagnosed and tragically died from the illness.

“It was a wake up call for me, for everybody. It hit close to home for me because my grandmother died of colon cancer. My father beat colon cancer. So, I’m high risk,” he said.

Initially, his doctor didn’t think Gross needed the test as he is only 39, but Gross insisted. He thought of what his father went through.

“He had to get 13 inches of his colon removed just to beat it. SO, don’t sit here and tell me that I don’t need to worry about it–Yes, it’s very necessary,” Gross said.

The actor also faulted insurance companies from dissuading patients from getting screening and testing for diseases such as colon and prostate cancer.

Read More: Michael B. Jordan honors Chadwick Boseman: ‘I wish we had more time’

“I feel like we’re just in a different time where these insurance companies, they put you in these age brackets and I feel like it’s changing. There’s different stuff in food. You don’t know what’s out here. We’ve got COVID-19,” he said.

“You don’t need to be put in a bracket. If you request to have your body checked out, you don’t need to be put in a bracket.”

Watch the full interview below:

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