Marc Summers, the former host of Nickelodeon's "Double Dare," kept a secret for five years, a big secret: He had cancer and, at one point, a doctor predicted he would die four and a half years ago.
Now the star of Food Network's "Unwrapped," Marc recently revealed his longtime battle with leukemia on a Philadelphia radio station.
"I've been sort of keeping something secret for the last five years, and I guess I'm ready to talk about it now, and that is: I was diagnosed with cancer five years ago," he said on WMMR. "You know, in show business, if you talk about that stuff, it's hard to get hired afterward ... And I've sort of compressed this thing and it's made me nuts."
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Marc said he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and suffered severe stomach problems a few years back. Ultimately, he had nearly 18 inches of his small intestine taken out.
"When I woke up, I said -- because I'm a stand-up comic, just trying to make light of the situation -- 'Hey doctor, do I have cancer?'" he recalled saying. "And he said, 'As a matter of fact, you do.' And that sort of freaked me out. And he said, 'You need to get to an oncologist right away.' Well, man, those are the words I don't wish on anybody."
One doctor gave him 6 months to live, he said.
"I was freaking out," he said. "I called my wife in tears and said, 'I'm not gonna get to see the kids marry. The guy told me to get our papers ready.'"
That doctor, of course, was wrong. Marc underwent chemo for two years and this past December he "finally got the all-clear sign."
"I'm not covering it up anymore," he said. "I had it, I'm in remission ... and I'm ready to move on."
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