Two years after a fan spotted thyroid cancer in the a host of a popular TV, the cancer is now in remission.
Tarek El Moussa, co-host of the HGTV series “Flip or Flop," is thankful to Ryan Read, a fan of the show who is also a registered nurse, reports The Independent. When Read saw a lump of Moussa neck during an episode of the show, she contacted the HGTV production company.
Read wrote in her email, “This is not a joke. I'm a registered nurse. I've been watching Flip or Flop. I noticed that the host Tarek has a large nodule on his thyroid, and he needs to have it checked out.”
El Moussa had already seen a doctor about the lump, which he was told was benign. However, the email convinced him to seek a second opinion.
"We got the email and I had a bad feeling about it, and just made the first doctor's appointment we could," said El Moussa, according to People.
That’s when a doctor ordered a biopsy and he found out he had thyroid cancer, which had spread to his lymph nodes by that point. El Moussa needed to undergo thyroid radioactive iodine therapy.
"If it wasn't for TV or her noticing this huge lump on my neck, I would still be moving forward with my life with cancer in my body and never doing anything about it," the TV co-host said.
Ryan and El Moussa met for the first time with his co-star and wife on "The Doctors." They embraced each other through tears.
"You get that gut feeling," Read explained. "Halfway through an episode during a marathon, I saw it. And I stopped the TV, rewound it, watched it again. Watched a few more episodes..."
Read said she was hesitant to contact HGTV for fear of sounding “like a crazy fan.” Fortunately, thanks to Ryan’s intervention, El Moussa is able to move forward and focus on spending time with his family.
"I have slowed down quite a bit,” El Moussa commented of his current life post-cancer. “Which is actually a good thing because I can actually relax now."