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Illinois man says hot sauce made with “world’s hottest pepper” saved his life

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MYRTLE BEACH (WITI) — A man claims hot sauce saved his life!

Randy Schmitz of Orland Park, Illinois has always loved hot sauce. So when he was vacationing in Myrtle Beach last summer, he decided to stop at a hot sauce store and take their challenge.

Contestants had to dip a toothpick in the hot sauce and put it on their tongues. One of the hot sauces in this hot sauce challenge is so incredibly hot, people are required to sign waivers before sampling it.

It’s called “Flashbang” and combines Carolina Reaper, scorpion, Jolokia and habanero peppers, according to the Huffington Post. The Carolina Reaper was crowned the world’s hottest pepper a few years ago.

Pepper Palace hot sauce challenge

Pepper Palace hot sauce challenge

“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,'” Schmitz told ABC News.

The sauce caused Schmitz to suffer a seizure.

“The next thing I knew, I had woken up on a stretcher in a hospital room — covered in vomit,” he said in the letter he sent to the Pepper Palace, the business that hosted the challenge.

Schmitz was rushed to an emergency room for an MRI scan of his brain. That’s when they discovered a cancerous brain tumor in its early stages.

Within a few days, he had the tumor removed and the treatment was complete. The tumor would not have been discovered had it not been for the hot sauce.

Schmitz said the following in a letter to the Pepper Palace:

I had surgery, got the tumor removed, went on radiation and chemotherapy, and I am now cancer free!! Your Flashbang Pepper Sauce SAVED MY LIFE!!!!

The tumor was removed just in time for Schmitz to get married.

Craig Migawa, founder and CEO of Pepper Palace Inc., said the following 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.”