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Bizzy Smith Discovered Breast Cancer After ‘The Amazing Race’ Exam: ‘Saved My Life’ (Exclusive)

The Amazing Race’s Bizzy Says a Physical for the Show Found Her Breast Cancer: ‘Saved My Life’
Sunny Pulver and Elizabeth “Bizzy” Smith. Yuri Hasegawa/CBS

Plenty of The Amazing Race contestants can say their time on the show changed their lives, but season 36 contestant Bizzy Smith can also say it saved hers.

Bizzy, 37, who competed on the CBS series with her friend and fellow firefighter Sunny Pulver, discovered she had lumps in her breast from a routine physical exam that all contestants underwent before appearing on the show.

“My doctor’s like, ‘You have some lumps in your left breast,’” Bizzy exclusively recalled to Us Weekly on Thursday, April 25, one day after she and Sunny, 41, were eliminated from the show. She credits The Amazing Race for her early diagnosis because she “wouldn’t have gotten a physical out of the blue” otherwise.

“I do think The Amazing Race saved my life,” she said. “That was the tipping point for me pursuing it when I got home is that, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s weird that I haven’t breastfed in over a year and I still have these lumps.’ … So, yeah, I think that Amazing Race physical saved my life.”

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Although the exam raised alarm bells for Bizzy, she didn’t receive an actual diagnosis until filming for season 36 had wrapped.

“It took me a while to get diagnosed, and I actually was diagnosed the same week our season was delayed,” she said, referring to the fact that season 35 of TAR aired first, despite being filmed after season 36. “So, they said, ’This isn’t your season on The Amazing Race coming up, and you have breast cancer.’”

The Amazing Race’s Bizzy Says a Physical for the Show Found Her Breast Cancer: ‘Saved My Life’
Kit Karzen/CBS

Bizzy has since gotten a double mastectomy and is now cancer-free.

“I’m using this platform for breast cancer awareness for younger women because I was only 36 years old trying to get diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said. “I ended up getting an MRI, which was the only reason I found out. And then I had a really good prognosis.”

Now that Bizzy has beaten breast cancer, she wants to return for an all-stars season of TAR.

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“We are putting out our bid for [an] all-stars season,” she said. “I’ve beaten breast cancer, so we are going to run this race with a new life.”

Bizzy has already taken steps to overcome her and Sunny’s biggest weakness in the game: navigation.

“I’m taking a navigation class,” she shared.

Sunny and Bizzy had plans to practice their navigational skills before appearing on season 36, but they never got around to it.

“We went down to Chicago to renew my passport and we were going to make it into a challenge to navigate, and we ended up using GPS,” Sunny admitted to Us with a laugh.

Although getting lost was a recurring problem for the twosome throughout the season, they breezed through the majority of the challenges once they found them — with one notable exception.

During episode 4, Sunny and Bizzy struggled to string together a phrase based on clues from a series of paintings. At one point, they guessed “Mama rat took baby rat skiing around the world,” a far cry from the correct phrase: “The world is smaller than you think.”

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Sunny called the moment the “most hysterical” one “of all the seasons [of TAR] I’ve watched.” Bizzy agreed, calling it “awesome,” before defending their logic.

“As far as the mama rat takes the baby rat skiing, that attempt was — I didn’t know what this type of puzzle was. So, my [thinking] was, ‘We have to memorize these pictures in order, so I’m going to create some absurd story that we cannot forget and we’re going to go to this other location and lay these out in order and get our clue.’”

Throughout all their ups and downs in the competition, Sunny and Bizzy kept calm and always had each other’s backs.

“I’m incredibly proud of our journey. Other teams have some heat that they’re dealing with and I feel like we are fan favorites,” Bizzy said. “I feel like we handled this with grace and humor and I just feel like I am really proud of the race we ran.”

The Amazing Race airs on CBS Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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