It sounds overly dramatic, particularly for a scientist, but Pat Spain of National Geographic’s “The Beast Hunter,” says, “I have been saying that show saved my life.”
He called Zap2it first to explain what happened and urged people to be advocates for their own health.
“The Beast Hunter” which launched last week, had Spain searching for the ape man in Sumatra. Turns out he found much more in the remote Indonesian island, where he climbed mountains, hiked through jungles and rowed across a murky lake, in a volcano.
“I was soaking wet for almost two weeks,” Spain says. “I started getting trench foot and was covered in leeches.”
He’s not complaining as much as explaining. Then he got really sick with a stomach bug and was in violent pain — in the middle of nowhere.
“Because of that, when I got back figured I would go to the doctor to get checked out,” he says.
Spain, 30, eats organic, locally grown food, works out daily and neither smokes nor drinks. He was diagnosed with colon cancer, and has since had complications because of the surgery.
Unaware that March is Color Cancer Awareness, Spain urges people to talk to their doctors and get tested.
His message: “Absolutely early prevention. It is such a preventable cancer. You can have it removed as a polyp before it ever develops into a cancer. So if anybody is experiencing anything GI — anything — don’t ignore it, and be your own advocate when you go to the doctor.”
The first two episodes aired last Friday and tonight the third is scheduled.
Spain has more surgery, due to complications from the first, but is anxious to get back to his adventures.
“This show was obviously one of the greatest things that ever happened to me,” he says. “I never imagined it would actually, in reality, save my life.”