This is a BIG week for Kayla as she makes her first dive. Check out our exclusive interview below with GOLD RUSH: WHITE WATER diver Kayla Sheets, and make sure to tune in for episodes of GOLD RUSH: WHITE WATER Fridays at 10 pm on Discovery Channel.

Deep in the Alaska wilderness, the Dakota boys are back and risking it all to unearth millions in gold. But after mining together for 10 years, the father and son team of Fred and Dustin Hurt are splitting up and working on separate claims to double their chances of striking it rich. The race is on as they uncover more gold than any other season before. Gold Rush: White Water airs Fridays at 10 pm on Discovery Channel.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about how you got into mining for gold and your experiences before Gold Rush White Water?
Kayla : I had zero gold mining experience before becoming a miner for Fred’s team but had visited the mine sites in previous seasons and helped Fred in the background. I have previously worked in office type environments and was planning to work with Fred this season to do his paperwork but when another guy didn’t show, Fred threw me in!

Q: I know a lot of fans wonder about nosey neighbors. Any close encounters with wildlife?
Kayla : I haven’t had too many personal close encounters but we did encounter a moose near the end of the season. It left its tracks on our trail. Of course the bears always left their mark by damaging our tools and equipment and they really liked the outhouse!

Q: What’s the thing you miss most about the wilderness when you are back in civilization? 
Kayla : I miss the peace and quiet of being “disconnected” from phones, traffic and the hustle and bustle. We work really remote and it facilitates an opportunity for self-growth. I was able to overcome a lot because I wasn’t distracted and grow a lot as a person because of this unique experience.

Q: I’d imagine just being on-site has its unique rewards, challenges, and complications. How does adding a camera crew into the mix affect the day to day work on-site?
Kayla : There’s definitely not much privacy.

Q: Being an advocate for pancreatic cancer is near and dear to your heart. What’s the best way for people to get involved to help with the fight against pancreatic cancer?
Kayla : Thank you! My late husband, Greg, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2014. This cancer is deadly and the statistics have not improved much over the years. I advocate and spread awareness to this disease by teaching others about the disease and sharing our experience. My late husband wanted others to see the “ugly” side of cancer in hopes that it may bring some light to this specific disease. I would also like to share that nobody is alone in this and reaching out and building a network for support makes a world of difference.

Q: What’s the best advice you can give all the women and girls out there who watch each week and think “this is awesome, how can I do this?”
Kayla : YOU CAN DO THIS (and anything you put your mind to)! Be strong, stand your ground, and don’t tolerate crap from anybody. Never let another person take away your voice, your personal beliefs, and your drive and always celebrate being true to yourself!

Q: For someone who has never seen Gold Rush White Water what’s your sales pitch on why someone should tune in for the first time?
Kayla : This is a show about adventure, ingenuity, and ambition. The goal is to try to make it relatable to the audience and to give them the inspiration to go out and do this themselves.

Q: Anything you want to say to all the fans who tune in each week?
Kayla : Thank you so much for watching the show! I personally try to connect with my fans on social media as much as possible and every encouraging comment I take to heart. I appreciate every fan because without them, this show wouldn’t be as great as it is!

Q: What can you tease about this week’s episode?
Kayla : This episode, in my opinion, was a very monumental moment for myself and my team. It is my official “screw you” to everyone who ever doubted me this season and to those who didn’t want me there. And it never hurts to show a little bit of gold!

In addition to watching the series on Discovery, viewers can check out new episodes each week on DiscoveryGO. Viewers can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #GoldRushWhiteWater and follow Gold Rush on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates.