Hot sauce is credited with saving a cancer survivor’s life

Photo: ABC News

Who would have thought a spontaneous hot sauce challenge could save someone’s life? A cancer survivor says it saved his.

While on vacation with his family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Randy Schmitz of of Orland Park, Illinois signed up for the challenge at a hot sauce store called Pepper Palace on the boardwalk. Contestants dip a toothpick in the hot sauce and put it on their tongues.

“I’ve done some other challenges in the past, this was possibly the worst one,” Schmitz, 30, told ABC News today. “I made it the five minutes. My sister then said she wanted to take the challenge, but I said, ‘You might want to hold off, I’m feeling really sick.'”

“My head was feeling really off,” he said. “Next thing I know, I wake up in a stretcher in a hospital hallway covered in vomit and I had no clue what had happened.”

Schmitz had endured a seizure.  He learned that he had a cancerous brain tumor after he had an MRI done.

Photo: ABC News/ Ryan Schmitz
Photo: ABC News/ Ryan Schmitz

Once he was back home in Illinois, Schmitz had surgery to remove the tumor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, doctors said.

Schmitz was able to finish radiation treatments just in time for his wedding.  He is thankful for the hot sauce he says saved his life and now he is enjoying life as a newlywed.

Photo: ABC News/ Ryan Schmitz
Photo: ABC News/ Ryan Schmitz

Founder and CEO of Pepper Palace Inc., Craig Migawa, said in a statement, “We are honored to have been a part of this story and we are humbled to know something as simple as a hot sauce can make such a difference.”

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