In Autumn 2011 Stuhr suffered what he thought was a severe throat infection, but eventually he was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. He spent most of the following eight months in hospitals in Gliwice, Kraków and Zakopane, undergoing treatment including surgeries, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. His daughter, herself a cancer survivor, advised him to write a diary to keep himself mentally busy during that difficult time. In 2012 it was published by Wydawnictwo Literackie publishing house under the title Tak sobie myślę... (which roughly translates as So I am thinking...). His illness was widely covered by Polish media, and he received feedback from cancer patients around the country for whom his openness was comforting. Eventually he described his cancer as "the most important role of my life". As of April 2013, his cancer is in remission and he resumed both stage and voice acting.
Jerzy Stuhr became very popular with younger viewers after he provided the voice for Donkey in the Polish dubbed version of Shrek (as well as in Shrek 2, Shrek the Third and in video games, based on the Shrek movies). Stuhr also provided the voice of Mushu the dragon in Disney’s Mulan and Mulan 2, and for the Larry Laffer character in Larry 7 game.