The news of Chadwick Boseman’s passing shocked the world. On Aug. 28, we all found out that the Black Panther actor was secretly fighting a four-year battle with colon cancer that only a handful of people knew about. Those who were close to Boseman are now opening up about their friend’s unrevealed battle.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, his battle with cancer was kept extremely private and only his family, friends and members of his team, including his longtime agent Michael Greene, producing partner Logan Coles and trainer Addison Henderson, knew about the diagnosis.

Henderson met Boseman through Coles, whom the 42 star was friends with since his collegiate days at Howard University. “We were like three amigos, brothers, here in L.A.,” Henderson, who watched his own father beat cancer four times, said.

“I used to tell Chad, ‘Man, you remind me of my dad. You guys are fighters, and you never stop moving forward,’” he said. “For us, it was just like, ‘Let’s keep going, let’s keep doing what you want to do, let’s keep training.’ And then, me and Logan and his family, his wife [Taylor Simone Ledward], we were always just here to support him.”

Greene told the outlet that Boseman’s decision to keep his cancer diagnosis hidden came from his mother. “[She] always taught him not to have people fuss over him,” Greene said. “He also felt in this business that people trip out about things, and he was a very, very private person.”

He also said that Boseman was in “hard-core pain” but “felt that being able to be with [co-star] Denzel and to launch this cycle of [playwright] August Wilson at Netflix was so exciting to him.”

Henderson recalled the moments where Boseman would support him with his acting and directing career while being in pain and filming his own movies. “Some people wait a lifetime to get the opportunity that he had,” he said. “Chad had so much wisdom, so much knowledge, so much inside of him that he wasn’t going to let this disease stop him from telling these amazing stories and showing his art in the prime of his life.”