Beth Chapman: Late Dog the Bounty Hunter Star Called Cancer Diagnosis the 'Ultimate Test of Faith'
Reality star Beth Chapman died on Monday at the age of 51, a little over a month after telling Florida churchgoers that her cancer diagnosis was “the ultimate test of faith” as she alluded to ending her chemotherapy treatment.
Chapman, who starred alongside her husband Duane “Dog” Chapman in the reality TV series Dog the Bounty Hunter, was diagnosed with stage II throat cancer in September 2017 — cancer that, two months later, the couple told fans had been completely removed.
Unfortunately, the cancer returned last year. Beth was rushed to the hospital in Los Angeles last November for an emergency surgery to clear a throat blockage that was obstructing her airways, and was once again hospitalized in April, this time in Hawaii.
A month later, on Mother’s Day, Chapman delivered a speech at the the Source Church in Bradenton, Florida, where she briefly addressed her health.
Addressing churchgoers, Beth admitted her diagnosis has been “the ultimate test of faith.”
“I don’t go to God and go, ‘Why did I get cancer?’ ” she said. “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.”
She also seemingly alluded to having stopped 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.”
Beth and Dog, 66, starred in the hit A&E reality series Dog the Bounty Hunter for eight seasons until 2012. The couple was in the process of filming a new reality series for WGN America set to premiere in October, Dog’s Most Wanted, at the time of Beth’s passing.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic news that Beth Chapman lost her battle with cancer today,” WGN America said in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday. “She was an exceptional woman, fiercely loyal and passionate about her family and she was a true joy to work with. All of us at WGN America will miss her tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with Duane, her family, loved ones and millions of fans.”
Dog announced Beth’s death in a heartbreaking tweet.
“It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain,” he wrote. “Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”
A rep for the Chapmans told PEOPLE, “Beth died at 5:32 this morning, the same time she would wake up to go hiking Koko Head. The exact same time. She was surrounded by family and Dog was there, holding her hand.”