Beth Chapman has died. The wife of Dog the Bounty Hunter passed away in a Honolulu hospital after a lengthy battle with stage II throat cancer. She was 51. Chapman was placed in a medically induced coma shortly before her death.
TMZ was the first to report that Chapman had died on June 26. The news was reported just before noon Eastern time. Dog has since issued a farewell statement to his wife on Twitter. “Today, she hiked the stairway to heaven,” he wrote. “We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Beth Chapman Was Diagnosed With Stage II Throat Cancer In September 2017
Chapman was first diagnosed with throat cancer in September 2017. She posted a letter that detailed her condition, as well as the shock that came upon finding out. “As most of you know, I’ve spent a lifetime facing tests and challenges I didn’t see coming and certainly never expected,” she wrote. “I’ve been dealt my share of unexpected blows over the course of my almost 50 years but nothing as serious as the one I heard from my doctors two weeks ago when they uttered those dreaded three words, ‘You have cancer.’ “
“After months of a nagging cough, a routine checkup resulted in a diagnosis of stage II throat cancer,” she continued. “I have what is referred to as a T2 Tumor in my throat that is blocking my breathing. My doctors are suggesting immediate treatment and surgery before the disease progresses… To be certain, I’ve stared down the devil more than once in my life but I’ve never faced a real life or death decision.”
Despite her concerns, Chapman vowed to keep fighting and thanked her friends and family for their support. “My life has never been easy, and I surely don’t expect it to start now. I will fight every step of the way,” she vowed. “My husband and children are counting on me to be there for years to come. I am so very grateful to be surrounded by family and friends who have given me incredible support during this very challenging time.”
2. Chapman Was Deemed Cancer Free During the TV Special ‘Beth & Dog: Fight of Their Lives’
In late 2017, Chapman agreed to star in the A&E special Beth & Dog: Fight of Their Lives. it detailed her road to recovery, as well as the emotional strife that she and her family were going through. “If I have a pain — like a back pain or something — I don’t tell her anymore, Dog admitted. “My little pains are nothing compared to what she’s going through. I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me, because I’m not the one who has it.”
During the special, Dog received got a call from Chapman’s pathologist telling her that the cancer had been successfully removed. “Hello, attention. No cancer!” he exclaimed. “There is a God. This could be a miracle. This could be a healing. [The doctor] said if I wasn’t such a good husband it wouldn’t have worked out that great. Oh, I can breathe. Beth Chapman, you did it.” The couple embraced and
Chapman later said that she was fortunate to catch the cancer diagnosis early on. “Early detection is key,” she told People Magazine. “I probably had the scratchy throat for a year. When something feels wrong, you need to get it checked immediately. That’s the lesson here. Also, everyone needs to pay attention to what you put in your body. Your diet is so important.”
3. Beth Chapman’s Cancer Returned In November 2018 & Resulted In an Emergency Surgery
On November 30, 2018, Chapman was rushed to Cedars-Sinai hospital for an emergency surgery. According to Us Weekly, the surgery was needed to clear a throat blockage that was obstructing her airways. “They got most of the throat cancer out,” Dog explained. “Her airway is clear now, but the doctors are afraid that it has spread. They are doing a biopsy scan to check if it has spread.”
“I told them I need to know right away and they’re going to get me the results by tomorrow. Hopefully it hasn’t spread,” he continued. “Last time it didn’t spread at all, so we’re hoping the same thing.” Chapman was hospitalized again in April 2019, when she had difficulty catching her breath. TMZ reports that the breathing difficulties were a complication stemming from her cancer treatments, but that she was sent home shortly after was “doing fine.”
Chapman told People that did not want to be pitied by fans, and that all she was interested in was staying positive. “I don’t need to be pitied. I didn’t surround myself with people who pity the situation,” she reasoned. “I wanted to be around people who helped me move forward.”
4. Chapman Announced That She Had Stop Taking Chemotherapy Treatments In May
Chapman addressed a group of Florida Churchgoers this past Mother’s Day, where she announced that she had stopped taking chemotherapy treatments. “Chemotherapy is not my bag, people. Sorry, that’s not for me,” she said. “So for me, this is the ultimate test of faith. This is my ultimate lesson. And it will either be taught to me or to you. And I am fine with taking the hit for everyone else. Because I think I know another guy who did the same thing.”
I don’t go to God and go, ‘Why did I get cancer?’ ” she continued. “He’ll roll his eyes at me again, because I know why — because this is the ultimate test of faith. It is the evidence of things hoped for and it is the substance of things not known.” In February, Chapman got on Instagram to say she had begun taking CBD products as a medicinal alternative.
“The real medicine behind the plant is very interesting the healing qualities are vast,” she wrote in the caption. “We need to all be far more open-minded to new treatments. Israel is leading the world in these studies. We no longer need to poison patients to get them well.”
5. Chapman Filmed a TV Series with Dog Shortly Before Her Death
Chapman and her husband recently shot a new reality series called Dog’s Most Wanted. According to TMZ, the series was set to air in 2020, but it’s not yet known if the series will make it to broadcast in light of her death. When the release date was announced, Chapman said she was disappointed, as she was at least “hoping to see it air.” This led many Twitter users to speculate that her health was worse than she was letting on at the time.
Chapman’s health struggles were supposed to be a key subplot, and the trailer for Dog’s Most Wanted sees her husband address them head on. “My wife, the love of my life, is fighting for her life,” he tells the camera. “Instead of being at home helping her, I’m out here looking for you. So, I’m warning you in advance: May God have mercy on you when I get you. Cause I won’t.”
Dog talked to In Touch Weekly about having to stay strong during this difficult time, and how the loss of Chapman has been a devastating one. “I have to keep faith, I am the leader of the family,” he said. “[Beth] thinks she is, but I am. I have to keep it where I don’t have any doubts and keep everything positive. I love my honey so much, I don’t know what I’m gonna do.” Chapman is survived by her husband and her four children: Dominic, Cecily, Bonnie Jo and Garry.