A Massachusetts native who has tracked lions in the African bush and gathered wild plants to eat to slow the onset of multiple sclerosis leads the cast of a new History Channel reality show.

Nicole Apelian appears in Season 2 of "Alone," which premieres at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday.

Apelian tells The Associated Press that being in the wilderness alone gives her strength and helps with her MS, which has affected her eyesight and ability to walk.

She and the other contestants are competing to outlast one another on a remote part of Canada's Vancouver Island where bears, wolves and cougars roam freely. The winner takes home $500,000.

Apelian now lives in Portland, Oregon. She says she hopes her appearance on the show will inspire others to push themselves.