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Ashton Kutcher says he is 'lucky to be alive' following autoimmune disease

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Ashton Kutcher has described his battle with a rare autoimmune disease, in which he said that he almost lost his ability to see, hear and walk. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/fd27605f331bd8436d0f1a848db2326d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Ashton Kutcher has described his battle with a rare autoimmune disease, in which he said that he almost lost his ability to see, hear and walk. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Actor Ashton Kutcher said he is "lucky to be alive" after a rare autoimmune disease left him without the ability to see, hear or walk.

Access Hollywood provided a sneak peek Monday of Kutcher's upcoming appearance on National Geographic's Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge, in which the actor and entrepreneur, 44, described his battle with the disease.

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"Like two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis," Kutcher said. "[It] like knocked out my vision, it knocked out my hearing, it knocked out like all my equilibrium."

Kutcher added that it took him "like a year" to get past the disease.

"You don't really appreciate it, until it's gone," Kutcher said. "Until you go, 'I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to see again, I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to hear again, I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to walk again.'"

Vasculitis is described by the Mayo Clinic as "inflammation of the blood vessels ... [that] can cause the walls of the blood vessels to thicken," sometimes resulting in multiple tissue and organ damage.

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The clinic added that there are several forms of vasculitis, but that most of them are rare.

"The minute you start seeing your obstacles as things that are made for you, to give you what you need, then life starts to get fun," Kutcher said of the disease. "You start surfing on top of your problems, instead of living underneath them."

While Kutcher's diagnosis was announced in 2020, his conversation with Bear Grylls marks the first time that he is speaking about his disease publicly.

The actor shares two children with actress Mila Kunis, whom he married in 2015.

Kunis has similarly been quiet about her husband's disease, though she herself has faced visual impairment, saying during a 2011 interview that she "was blind in one eye for many years" prior to corrective surgery.

Kunis and Kutcher first met as co-stars on the popular Fox sitcom That '70s Show.

He has also starred in a variety of successful films, including comedies like 2000's Dude, Where's My Car? and biographical dramas such as 2013's Jobs.

While That '70s Show ended in 2006, Netflix will soon be producing a spinoff called That '90s Show, which is set to feature Kutcher, Kunis and others from the original show as guest stars.

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The full episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge with Ashton Kutcher will air Monday night on National Geographic.

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