Bill Weir's Life-Saving Assignment

"Nightline" anchor opens up about the assignment he says saved his life.
6:08 | 01/18/12

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Transcript for Bill Weir's Life-Saving Assignment
He called -- the assignment that saved his life Nightline co anchor Bill Weir went to California to speak to renowned doctor. David a gets about his book the end of illness and when he came back with it. With more than just a great interview -- a story that took him to his war one that literally changed his life. Because the story. What about his health. They'll joins us now to talk about it they'll welcome break -- -- you can see you amazing story -- let's start with what doctor a -- well. That was stunning legs and she's just back -- a little bit -- and and explain that. Have been an -- about my health I was I had fooled myself and the thinking -- -- perfectly fit that never gets sick -- work out almost daily. Even didn't have a dot I don't have a regular doctor which is idiotic -- -- now but. But I I was living with this willful ignorance and so when -- -- to do this story itself when run a battery of tests and to show you with the latest in in. Technology can do -- OK sure that'll be -- uninteresting and it really was until the moment. He sat me down and his tone changed things unfortunately you have heart disease. And within the next five years or so you could be one of those guys we read about it seems perfectly healthy. And drops -- snowboarders are on the job lightening well absolutely what went -- -- that very first image. It was a glorious blue sky day in Beverly Hills and I looked out the window and I stopped hearing him. I looked at the window and what flashed in my mind was my daughter my eight year old. Standing on the same mountain where I spread my father's ashes five years ago and I realized. She's -- government of funeral. I could've been her first funeral. And then my second thought was it's my fault because I've been in this willfully ignorance about how I was killing myself. As possible because you are -- the picture of -- so what went wrong. Mike I blame my parents and grandparents immigrate references my genetic disposition so we also -- the DNA test and show that I have a 38%. Risk of a heart attack. Which is actually below the national average that's what's staggering the American male typical American -- has a 42% chance of getting a heart attack. So that in combination with my. -- his belief that I can eat an entire cheese cake rack of ribs and a six pack. And -- work it off at the gym as long still -- in my college. Size pants -- fine. But -- he just blew my mind for how -- will radically changed your life going for. Well a couple of things die it's and and the fixes or easy I don't have to have surgery none of -- I've just been Staten that baby aspirin. But that's because the application have not reached a critical. Exactly and then in there -- even some studies that show you can decals of -- heart I mean this is an early marker to. What's going to vote in of that that babies can shut down -- them well. But the main thing is part of his philosophy is you've got to collect as much data about yourself you shouldn't you should be educating your doctor. About your -- not the other way around. And so he has me. -- one of these fitness monitors and a bunch of companies make on this and cost about a hundred bucks. Called it it targets only -- lots 3142. Steps today. And -- burned. One point 52 miles have burned thirteen hundred calories and it goes into the computer. Wirelessly. To any resident -- and down there are -- -- -- 101000 steps today ideally want to climb ten flights of stairs you know you can Alter your goals and but what it does is just makes you more conscious of the fact that it's so easy to -- while I sat on that plane for five hours which is really hazardous to your health even -- got in the morning. So maybe I should walk to the hotel. -- reaction you know did you make this morning I walk through the park and had to guide you know the cab dropped off. And -- these these little things movement throughout the day. I want your diet that half yeah right that's the thing I mean I have good the good cholesterol was sky. Which is great yet so it's not a low fat diet is a good -- -- -- -- -- and -- cheese -- every day is really kind of common sense stuff. I mean the fixes is -- live like your parents lived -- real natural food. Move around a lot. Try to eat in a regular schedule because analysts Dresser. But you don't people watching your story -- and say hey wait a minute I'd love to have access to -- state of the art scans show me a picture of my heart. What the average person to. The average person can talk to their doctors say look I really want every possible test there is figure out with the insurance company -- the insurance company. And this is sort of doctor eggs -- -- philosophies have all this great gadgetry stuff you know as we see your cell phones getting smarter. It's the -- -- diagnostic. Stuff so this this -- that -- is that there's hell I got picked and that's the picture snapping a and you realize pulled my hair blew my mind and yes my life but this this is a CT scan. This cost about thirteen hundred dollars pocket if I'd done it's more expensive in some places and you could you want a good technician reading the pictures. If that's -- its -- -- mean at some point people wanted to put these in malls. And they thought you know what the person from LensCrafters telling you have a spot in your long because -- you could go crazy and bankrupt trying to figure out if it's it's really something. And so this -- this sort of institutional resistance to this stuff that's coming. But the idea is whether or not you get this and as much daddy's you can collect -- ever especially to the guys out there than knuckle heads -- mean who thought -- all -- And thought hospitals and doctors were for sick people. You know if if I could sell you. Where the faulty wiring is in your house. You know you'd fix it before it burned down to say that I'm not go to doctors like waiting worry about it when I'm on -- guys to write a test that -- -- epitaph got an idea yet at least ask you. Miller thank you so much my pleasure.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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