It’s been a long road for Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman and his wife, Beth Chapman. Us Weekly spoke exclusively with the couple about her battle with stage II throat cancer and the surgery to remove the T2 tumor. The journey will be documented on a two-hour A&E special airing Monday, November 27.
“We’ve shared almost our whole lives with fans. We’ve shared the ups and downs of this family with our fans for the last 15 years of our lives,” Beth, 50, told Us. “So it made perfect sense that we should share something so intimate with them as well. Our rabid fan base has been so loyal to us. It just didn’t make sense to try to hide something like this. The amount of love and support and genuine outpouring of grace our fans have shown has helped us get though some of the darkest moments of our lives right now.”
Dog, who has been with Beth for more than 30 years, told Us he was shocked she agreed to do the special — “she’s a feminine girly girl” — since it meant having the cameras film her without her hair being done.
“She was like, ‘I’ve got to show them how to beat this Big Daddy! I’ve shown them how to capture fugitives, how to give second chances, I’ve got to show them how to beat this,’” Dog told Us. “I just was stunned.” And so, the cameras captured everything, even when it wasn’t pretty.
“She woke up once in the middle of the night and she’s like, ‘Honey, Im gonna die.’ I said, ‘No, you’re not gonna die and I’m not gonna hear that.’ She goes, ‘Yes, I am. You’re so stupid, how are you gonna make it by yourself?’ It has brought us closer,” Dog told Us, getting choked up. “I’ve been with her since she was 19, she’s almost 100. Every picture I see of us together, I remember where it was. It just makes all those moments that you shared love a lot more real when that could be what you’re left with: just the moments. It was hard as s–t.” He adds about the day she had her surgery: “It was the worst day I’ve ever been through.”
Now, Beth and Dog are hopeful that their fans can take away an important lesson from their special: “Early detection is key this whole disease,” Beth said, adding that it’s not just cigarettes that cause cancer — it’s diet, stress, and many other contributors that she was never aware of.
“We’ve been chasing fugitives for 30 years. How much Mace can you ingest safely? How much PepperBall is safe for you to take in? How much exhaust from a bus [is safe]? We were on a bus tour for three years — your bedroom is at the back of the bus,” she continued. “There were so many contributing factors but in my mind, my stress level was beyond what a normal person endures. Early detection is everything. You cannot play games with your health.”
Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives premieres on A&E Monday, November 27, at 9 p.m. ET.
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