People who live to 100 are often asked what their secret is to a long life. Some say it’s love. Some say it’s the power of positive thinking. Others say that laughter is the key. Few would say it’s being bitten repeatedly by poisonous snakes.
Snake handler, Bill Haast, would have been one of those few. During his ten decades on the planet, he has gotten up close and personal with over three million venomous snakes.
He has been bitten 173 times. On 20 of those occasions, he almost died. Yet Bill proved immune to the snakes’ deadly bites. He believes it was because he injected himself with snake venom daily. For 60 years, Bill would mainline snake venom from 32 different species. He swore it gave him immunity and extraordinary health.
Bill even flew around the world to donate his blood to snakebite victims. Its antibody properties seemed to work and help the victims get better. He also treated more than 6,000 people with a serum made from snake venom. He believed it was effective against multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
To this day, scientists continue to research snake venom. They hope it can be used to combat diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
It’s said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Wisconsin truck mechanic, Tim Friede, would definitely agree.
Friede has handled poisonous snakes for most of his life. In 2000, he became fascinated by self-immunization. He believed exposure to snake venom would help his body produce natural antibodies. Like Bill Haast, he began injecting himself with small doses of snake venom.
After 200 snakebites, 700 injections, and a few close calls with death, fortune crossed Friede’s path. It came in the shape of young scientist, Jacob Glanville.
Glanville stumbled across a YouTube video of Friede. In it, Friede was demonstrating his immunity by letting snakes bite him on camera. Glanville was fascinated. He was looking to make a name for himself in the field of universal vaccines. He hoped to extract patients’ antibodies and develop new drugs. Friede looked like the perfect patient.
Every year, snakes kill between 80,000 and 130,000 people. Glanville believed Friede’s blood could create a universal anti-venom. The two agreed to work together.
Friede no longer injects himself with snake venom. He doesn’t need to. His blood is now in the hands of the scientists. And they are working hard to turn his antibodies into a lasting legacy; one that is sure to save countless lives.