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May 20, 2018

Theresa’s ‘Challenge’ Confession: Allergies In Thailand Made Me Blow Up Like A Big Red Balloon

Theresa’s ‘Challenge’ Confession: Allergies In Thailand Made Me Blow Up Like A Big Red Balloon


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If you’re allergic to bees, you steer clear of their hives, and unless you’re a camp counselor, sidestepping poison ivy is usually easy enough. But there are certain little venoms that are tough to avoid, and Theresa bore the brunt of her medical sensitivities on her last “Challenge” outing. During “Rivals II” filming in Thailand, Jasmine‘s partner, who’s allergic to coconut and MSG, naturally came into contact with both, and by the time everything was said and done, she was rushed to the hospital in pretty embarrassing condition.

“My face blew up like a big red balloon,” the “Free Agents” cast member recalls in our latest “Challenge” Confessions clip. “It was not a comfortable situation, so I ate carrots and peanut butter for almost the entire time.” Well, just be glad you’re not allergic to spiders, too, girl — as Coral proved way back on “The Gauntlet,” arachnids can do some real damage to your chances at first place. Make sure to have that EpiPen ready either way!

Listen to Theresa relive the horror of her swelling, and be sure to see her in action when “Free Agents” premieres on Thursday, April 10 at 10/9c

Photo: Ian Spanier



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Theresa’s ‘Challenge’ Confession: Allergies In Thailand Made Me Blow Up Like A Big Red Balloon

Injured Black Mountain rock climber thankful for rescue

ASHEVILLE — A Black Mountain man who suffered serious injuries in a rock climbing accident earlier this week faces months of recovery, but his overriding emotion Wednesday was gratitude.

I want to put a thank you out to everyone who was involved in the rescue, Jackson DePew, 23, said in an interview from his room at Mission Hospital. Id like to send them my sincerest gratitude.

In the dramatic rescue Monday afternoon at Linville Gorge, rescuers used a Black Hawk helicopter to pluck DePew from a ledge about 200 feet above the ground on Shortoff Mountain.

Ive gotten lots of Facebook messages and phone calls from people who I havent heard from in years, said DePew, an experienced climber. I want to say thank you to everybody whos reached out to me and sent me their best wishes.

DePew suffered a concussion and broken leg and fractured his pelvis in five spots after falling and slamming into the side of the mountain, winding up on a narrow ledge high above the ground. He also broke his tailbone and suffered three broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

The accident happened about 1 p.m. as DePew was climbing the steep rock face from the bottom, using climbing cams metal anchors that fit into crevices and rope as safety equipment, along with a helmet. When he put his left hand on a part of the cliff, it broke loose. He fell about 35 feet before his cams and rope stopped him, keeping him from tumbling all the way to the ground. But he still hit the rock face hard.

His climbing partner, who was still on the ground, saw what happened and called 911.

DePew said he was unconscious for several minutes, then was able to answer a phone call from his partner. He remained conscious throughout the rest of the ordeal. It took about four hours before he was lifted off the ledge in a basket by the helicopter.

I was in an absurd amount of pain, said DePew, a 2013 graduate of Warren Wilson College who started rock climbing six years ago and has been a climbing instructor for three years. It was the most pain Ive ever been in in my life. But I also remember thinking, This is freaking awesome. This is the coolest thing. Theres a Black Hawk helicopter right there. Im just about to get the VIP escort out of here.

Burke County Emergency Management Director Mike Long said one rescuer rappelled down the mountainside while another came down from the helicopter to reach DePew, who was lifted into the helicopter.

The helicopter was dispatched through the N.C. Division of Emergency Management from an Army National Guard unit in Rowan County.

DePew said the accident wont deter him from returning to climbing once his injuries heal. He plans to make a career as a climbing instructor and wilderness expedition leader.

Climbing makes me happier than a lot of things, almost more than anything, he said. Im definitely lucky I didnt get hurt worse. I feel very fortunate. I think Im meant to do something with my life.

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Injured Black Mountain rock climber thankful for rescue

Video: Poison parsnip: Worse than poison ivy

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Video: Poison parsnip: Worse than poison ivy

Beware of Poison Ivy

ACROSS WNY- A hike in the outdoors is a peaceful and beautiful experience, but it always pays to know your surroundings. There are a lot of things in the environment that can cause harm if one is not careful,and many of these organisms are hiding in plain sight, so awareness is key.

Poison Ivy is a perfect example. Dave McQuay of NY State Parks says the plant is abundant throughout the region, and learning to identify it is a must for anyone spending time outdoors.” They always say leaves of three let it be, and often Poison Ivy takes on different forms, it can be a small plant, it can be shrub like, or it can vine up trees.If it vines up, you want to look for the hairy roots going to the bark, usually brown in color.”

Coming in contact with the plant is not fun. Damaging the leaves or stem releases an oily compound called Urishiol which can cause a serious rash on those who are allergic to it. ” The oil leaches out of the leaves” says McQuay ” and absorbs through the seven layers of your skin, your body reacts to that,and it actually causes inflammation and your body produces a rash if you’re allergic to.”

Native to North America,the plant has been thriving for centuries. Throughout the years, Poison Ivy has been both bane and benefit to different cultures. McQuay explains.” One of the first infections a European got in North America was Captain James Cook coming down with a case of Poison Ivy. Native Americans used it, they had different ways to develop immunity,they would use the flexible vines to make baskets, in California they would smoke salmon with the skewers made from Poison Ivy.”

As nasty as it can be to the human species, McQuay says the exact opposite is true with many animals. ” Over sixty species of birds ingest the berries, Black Bears, White Tail Deer, rabbits and muskrat love to eat the seeds . Woodpeckers, warblers and thrushes relish the berries, so it is used by wildlife.”

Poison Ivy also is beneficial to the environment in other ways, so eradication is not feasible. Unfortunately, studies have found that due in part to climate change, the toxic oil that can cause so much damage is also becoming more potent. ” With the increased levels of carbons in the air, the Poison Ivy is becoming five percent stronger in Urishiol oil, which will cause the rash. McQuay continues ” Poison Ivy is definitely getting stronger as our environment changes and warms.”

All of this information is not meant to terrify, only to educate. As with much of our environment, knowledge goes far to keep from turning a hike in the woods to trip to the hospital. ” Learn to identify it, learn to avoid it like you would a poisonous snake, it shouldn’t stop you from going out there and enjoying the great outdoors, and be aware on sunny edges and stream banks and things it can grow there, and that’s a spot you really want to watch for it.”

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Beware of Poison Ivy

Hoosiers protect themselves from Mother Nature’s dangers

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Hoosiers protect themselves from Mother Nature’s dangers

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