Remembering VH1 Reality Star Ahmad “Real” Givens’ Battle Colon Cancer
In 2015, Ahmad Givens, better known as “Real”, one of the stars of VH1’s Real Chance of Love died after a long battle with cancer, according to his brother, Kamaal aka “Chance.”
Chance says the reality star’s condition worsened after he took a fall in January. After that, Real was bedridden ever since.
Givens was first diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer in 2013.
“I remember I was laying on the hospital bed and the doctor came in crying and when I saw her crying I knew it was something serious,” he said of the moments before he was informed that he had stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his liver. “My doctors thought I had, like, three days to live so they just zapped me with chemo. I left out of there with my veins burning and everything.”
African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial and ethnic group in the US for most cancers. Men and women are equally likely to die from colon cancer, but men are more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than women of the same age.
In the early stages, colon cancer begins with small polyps, which are shaped like little mushrooms growing on the wall of the colon. Polyps are very common, especially as people get older. Not all polyps develop into cancer but all colorectal cancer begins with polyps. Certain kinds of polyps are more likely to lead to cancer than others, but the doctor can’t tell if a polyp is precancerous just by looking at it. This is why many doctors remove and analyze any polyp found during screening. Polyps can be identified and removed by colonoscopy, in which a small camera on a flexible tube is inserted into the rectum.
Givens said after surgery, tumors began form and spread to the left side of his brain, leaving him partially paralyzed on the right side of his body.
“I had to learn how to walk again and everything,” explained Givens, who said that radiation successfully eradicated the brain tumor. “I just have faith in God, man.”
Givens broke into reality TV through the 2007 VH1 dating show I Love New York, which he appeared on with brother Kamal “Chance” Givens. He went on to star in spinoffs Real Chance of Love from 2008 to 2009 and Real & Chance: The Legend Hunters in 2010.