Netflix’s ‘Outlast’ introduced 16 contestants who fight to stay in the game to win the prize money of $1 million. The season premiere brought excitement, thrills, and action and introduced us to several interesting contestants, including Dawn Nelson. Although enthusiastic about competing on the popular reality show, she claimed she was terrified about what lay ahead. Still, the Creston, Washington resident was determined not to give up and was confident that the skills she had gained throughout her life as a former correction officer would give her an advantage over others. With fans now eager to learn more about Dawn, here’s everything we know about her!
Who is Dawn Nelson?
43-year-old Dawn Nelson had a difficult life where she had to go through numerous challenges. She spent her childhood in Danville, Ferry County, where her parents were fourth-generation cattle ranchers. Dawn grew up riding her horse alone in the woods, away from disturbance. From a very early age, she knew she had what it takes to make a name for herself on the survivor list. Hence, Dawn had previously applied to appear on ‘Survivor.’ However, when that failed, she was advised by an old friend to try out ‘Outlast.’
Dawn was selected for the Delta team comprising Joel, Jordan, and Paul on the show. She and Joel faced the realities of natural calamities when they realized hunger and cold were turning the other contestants into savages. Nevertheless, Dawn pushed through challenges and proved her mettle. Even the show’s executive producer Grant Kahler spoke extensively about her. He said, “While all contestants had to have an ‘a baseline of outdoor skills,’ Nelson proved exceptional.” He added, “She grew up hunting her food, she grew up growing her food, she was so unbelievably knowledgeable that she blew all of us away like, gosh, is anyone going to even be able to compete with this girl? She was just that impressive.”
Where is Dawn Nelson Now?
As mentioned above, Dawn faced a tough life from early on. She was diagnosed with breast cancer during her pregnancy but is finally cancer-free. She also met a grave injury at Airway Heights Corrections Center that left her with no feeling in her right hand. In an interview with Seattle Times, Dawn revealed, “It was like my grab-ahold-of-life and live it again, that’s what it was.” She added, “I didn’t do it to prove [anything] to anybody but myself that I was actually still this person that can go and survive. Half the time, I forgot the cameras were even watching me.”
Currently, the reality TV star works as a Phlebotomist and Medical Lab Assistant at Coulee Medical Center. She has dedicated her life to her family and farm animals, including all the horses she loves dearly. On the personal front, Dawn has been happily married since September 2002 and has a beautiful daughter named Laren Nelson with her long-term partner. She is a fantastic mother, friend, and survivor, and we wish her the best in life.