Chadwick Boseman visited children fighting cancer while privately battling the disease himself

Chadwick Boseman, here attending the European Premiere of Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" on February 8, 2018 in London, England, visited children fighting cancer at St. Jude while privately battling the disease himself. By Amir Vera, CNN

(CNN) -- In the midst of his battle with colon cancer, Chadwick Boseman not only continued to work on films, but also made sure to keep inspiring children.

The "Black Panther" actor visited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee in 2018, the hospital said on Instagram Saturday.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Chadwick Boseman. Two years ago, Chadwick visited the St. Jude campus and brought with him not only toys for our patients but also joy, courage and inspiration," the hospital said in a tweet read.

Boseman was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, according to the announcement of his death posted to his official Twitter account on Friday.

"A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much," the tweet read. "All were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy."

Also in 2018, Boseman told SiriusXM he had been in communication with two terminally ill boys throughout the filming of "Black Panther." The boys and their parents told Boseman they were trying to hold on until the film came out.

"I realized they anticipated something great," Boseman said during the emotional interview, adding that he remembers being a child and eagerly awaiting his birthday, Christmas, a toy or video game.

"It put me back in the mind of being a kid just to experience those two little boys' anticipation of this movie. ... It means a lot."

The interview was posted three days before "Black Panther" had its theatrical release nationwide.

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