Douglas was misdiagnosed three times before being diagnosed with stage four throat cancer in 2010. He was initially told he had tongue cancer, and discovered the two forms of cancer are treated quite differently. The actor compared his struggle to being "like a soldier that prepared for battle," and said he is "very fortunate to be here today."
Zeta-Jones echoed his sentiments and told the crowd, "I mean that literally. I'm very happy to be here with my husband."
"I'll be quite frank, I was a mess," she recalled of his diagnosis. "When I'm married to a man who has such a conviction for life ... he fights to make wrongs right. For the first time he was fighting for his life."
The actor underwent seven weeks of treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He lost 40 pounds and said he felt "a lot worse" before he started to feel better, but credits the center with saving his life. He has been cancer-free since January 2011.
Douglas and Zeta-Jones have been married since 2000, and have two children, son Dylan and daughter Carys. The couple reconciled in November after a six-month separation.