Fan-favorite “Survivor” contestant Rupert Boneham and his wife Laura have updated their fans on his health scare that has been going on for the past few weeks. The latest update is that it is cancer, but he does not have to undergo radiation treatment. Here is what you need to know.
Laura Said Rupert Has ‘Squamous Cell Vocal Cord Cancer’
In a Facebook post updating friends and family on Rupert’s condition, Laura said that she has “been in denial” about this but can no longer pretend that it isn’t happening — Rupert has vocal cord cancer.
I think I have been in denial but we need to update everyone the fact that Rupert does have squamous cell vocal cord cancer. It is a small spot on the left vocal cord that the doctor seems hopeful about treating with 5-6 weeks of radiation treatments. He is also going to have a PET scan to make sure there is no cancer anywhere else in his body. Thank you all for the prayers good vibes and kind words!!! We will get through this, Rupert is the strongest man I know! We appreciate all of your support!
However, Laura later updated her friends and family with a follow-up Facebook post that said Rupert will be able to avoid radiation therapy. She wrote, “Here’s a status update and some good news. Rupert ended up going to a vocal chord specialist at IU who is going to schedule an endoscopy to lazer the rest of the verrucous cancer cells. No radiation at this time. It’s minimally invasive. He most likely won’t lose his voice!!! God is good!!! Thanks for your continued support!”
Laura first broke the news about Rupert’s health scare back on October 18, informing her friends and family that he had been experiencing “throat pain and hoarseness for some time.” The doctor found “uninvited cells” on Rupert’s left vocal cord and he scheduled a biopsy.
After the biopsy, the initial results showed so sign of cancer and the doctor “removed pre-cancerous cells” from Rupert’s vocal cord. However, Laura also told her followers that they wouldn’t know anything for sure until “the final pathology report” came back in a week’s time.
But it looks like final report came back saying it was cancer and now Rupert will undergo treatment. According to Johns Hopkins’ website, “many vocal cord cancers present early because the lesion creates hoarseness that often prompts early evaluation,” so hopefully, Rupert’s was found early and the treatment will be successful.
Rupert & Laura Are Beloved ‘Survivor’ Players
Rupert has played “Survivor” four times — “Pearl Islands,” “All-Stars,” “Heroes vs. Villains” and “Blood vs. Water,” which is when his wife Laura finally joined the franchise. He famously sacrificed his own game in “Blood vs. Water” so that Laura was not sent to Exile Island immediately. When he lost the first challenge there, he was the first person sent home from “Blood vs. Water.” The two were invited to play on “The Amazing Race” in season 31 where they were the second couple eliminated from the race.
Rupert, who mentors troubled teens, has always been incredibly popular with “Survivor” viewers. He made such a splash on “Pearl Islands” that he was immediately asked back for “All-Stars,” and then on “All-Stars,” he beat out Colby Donaldson, Boston Rob Mariano, and Big Tom Buchanan for a million-dollar prize that was voted on by the viewers and awarded during a special episode called “America’s Tribal Council.”
Rupert then used some of that money to start his foundation, Rupert’s Kids, which is a non-profit organization “that takes individuals who have recently been released from the correctional facility and helps them become active and contributing members of society,” according to the website.
“Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!