For almost twenty years, fans of the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch watched as crab fishermen risked life and limb in search of riches in Alaska. Celebrating 19 seasons, alumni like “Wild” Bill Wichrowski of the Summer Bay entertained viewers with his colorful personality and his motto “hard work and honesty”. Sadly, on the season 19 finale, viewers received heartbreaking news that one of their most beloved captains, Wichrowski, was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Fans of Deadliest Catch are accustomed to receiving bad news since crab fishing is considered one of the deadliest jobs a person can do. While most who dare to do the job are aware of the dangers, nothing could prepare Bill Wichrowski for a visit with the doctor. During the final minutes of the season finale, the captain’s doctor noted that the situation was “life-threatening”. Besides starting radiation to help fight the cancer, the doctor discussed Wichrowski using hormone therapy in hopes of saving his life.
With the season finale leaving fans devastated, MUSC Hollings Cancer Center tweeted some welcoming news, showing Wild Bill himself in high spirits and ready to prove that not even cancer can slow him down.
@DeadliestCatch fans saw Wild Bill get unwelcome news from our own Dr. David Marshall last night. This #ProstateCancerAwarenessMonth, we’re thankful that he decided to share his diagnosis. #Prostatecancer is the most common diagnosed cancer in men – but it’s also very treatable. pic.twitter.com/19T0eaZud9
— MUSC Hollings Cancer Center (@muschollings) September 27, 2023
Alongside the cancer center, numerous fans shared heartfelt messages to Captain Bill Wichrowski on his Facebook and X page. Fans wrote, “Sending so many prayers your way!!! Lost too many family members to this horrible disease…stay strong and know that we are all with you!” Another user added, “As a cancer survivor I know first hand that cancer sucks. Praying for you.”
Deadliest Catch Has A History Of Bad News
Bill Wichrowski is just the latest member of Deadliest Catch to receive concerning news about his health. Since the airing of the first episode back in April 2005, fans watched season regulars like Phil Harris, Blake Painter, and Justin Tennison pass away. In 2010, Phil Harris causally unloaded his boat when he suffered a stroke. Although Harris defied the doctors and woke from his coma, he passed away only five days later. His son Josh shared, “We had nine days total that we were there to enjoy a few moments with him. We had our closest people there and it was awesome. ”
Feb 9, 2010: the Cornelia Marie, Bering Sea, Deadliest Catch and World lose a true hero. Phil Harris passes away. pic.twitter.com/bFrb5l4svx
— Deadliest Catch (@DeadliestCatch) April 22, 2014
Captain Sig Hansen’s Family Battles Cancer
Back in 2019, Captain Sig Hansen found himself maneuvering the Northwestern when he received a call from his wife June. His demeanor instantly changed when he heard the word cancer. After sharing a moment with his wife, Hansen promised her, “You just tell me, you give me the word and I will be there. I love you too.”
While Deadliest Catch has had its share of devastating moments, Bill Wichrowski is staying positive about his treatment plan and the road ahead. Surrounded by his sons Zack Larson, Jake, and daughter, Delia, Wild Bill appears to be in safe hands. Share your support for Wild Bill below.