Nick Cannon and Alyssa Scott decided against chemotherapy treatment when it came to options for their 5-month-old son, Zen Cannon, who passed away earlier this month after a battle with brain cancer.
“We started asking, ‘Is there a way to prevent this? If not, how long do we have?'” Nick recalls in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE. “The conversations quickly turned to, ‘How can we give him the best life for the time that he does have?’ It could be weeks, it could be months, it could be years.”
Zen Cannon died on December 5, 2021, after undergoing several treatment efforts to prolong his life. The little one was diagnosed with a rare but aggressive form of brain cancer when he was just two months old.
“We were having quality-of-life conversations,” Nick told PEOPLE. “We could have had that existence where he would’ve had to live in the hospital, hooked up to machines, for the rest of the time. From someone who’s had to deal with chemotherapy before, I know that pain,” Nick whose battle with lupus led him to chemotherapy treatment for a time. “To see that happen to a 2-month-old, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to suffer.”
Nick went on to tell the press, “We had a short time with a true angel. My heart is shattered. I wish I could have done more, spent more time with him, taken more pictures. I wish I could have hugged him longer.” Still, “I look at being his father as a great privilege.”
Alyssa Scott shared the same sentiment as she gave a statement to PEOPLE instead of a full interview. “It was a privilege being Zen’s mommy,” Scott shared with the media source. “It’s so beautiful and encouraging to see even complete strangers being touched and moved by Zen’s light,” Alyssa said. “Zen’s spirit and light will shine bright forever.”