How Fans Inspired Beth Chapman to Share Her Cancer Battle With the World
“Hopefully, one or two people will go and get early detection and their lives will be saved because of us,” Beth tells TooFab.
When Beth Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer earlier this year, the "Dog the Bounty Hunter" star was adamant about sharing her story with her fans.
For Monday’s A&E special, "Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives," Chapman documented her initial doctor’s visits, how she and husband Duane "Dog" Champan shared the diagnosis with their family and the grueling 13-hour surgery to have a Stage II tumor removed in September, as well as the aftermath. For Beth, the decision to film it all was a no-brainer.
"It was a real reality check for me," Chapman told TooFab. "I felt like to be an honest person, I’m going to share this with my fans as honestly as I can. Hopefully, one or two people will go and get early detection and their lives will be saved because of us."
"A lot of her fans have gone through this," added Dog. "At the very beginning, once they told us, she was devastated, we all were, but she went, ‘Honey, we’re gonna film this and we’re gonna show everybody how to beat this.’"
Beth said her battle also made her appreciate those fans who watched "Dog the Bounty Hunter" while going through their own fights with cancer. "It puts a real reality on you that your life could be gone in an instant," she said. "You come to a place where you start to appreciate all of these fans that are watching your show while they’re sitting there being pumped full of chemo, hoping for you to make them laugh, if only for a second."
After celebrating her 50th birthday in October — something Beth admitted she "didn’t even know" she would see — Chapman had a special interaction with a young fan that once reminded her of her huge platform.
"Just a week ago, we visited a little girl with leukemia and it was important to get to her. She’s 8," Beth continued. "And for her, it was encouraging to see someone like me. Not only did she see me on TV, but then she saw me show up on her doorstep when she was clearly at her sickest. It just means to much to people. You have to take a breath, you have to stop and smell the roses because life is precious and you can’t mess around with your health."
"[The young girl] looked up at Beth and Beth showed her battle wound," Duane added, "and she said, ‘Beth you made it, I’m gonna make it.’"
"Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives" premieres Monday, November 27 on A&E.
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