He hasn't been overly transparent about it but someone very close to the creator of XKCD has been dealing with cancer. It shows from time to time in the comic, I hadn't realized how long it has been though.
He actually posted a blog post about it that was very transparent, so that when he made references to it in the comics people would know what he was talking about and not speculate. But that is very sweet.
ETA: Too slow, AND you provide links! Dang.
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