Tarek El Moussa, the co-host of HGTV's real estate and renovation show Flip or Flop, is in remission after a battle with thyroid cancer and has an observant viewer to thank. Back in 2013, El Moussa visited a doctor about a lump that had appeared on his neck, but he was told it was benign. Then Ryan Read, a fan and trained nurse, spotted the growth while watching an episode. "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," she told the show's production company in an email, per the Independent. That email prompted El Moussa, then 31, to get a biopsy, which found he had thyroid cancer and that it had spread to his lymph nodes.
El Moussa, who hosts Flip or Flop with his wife, Christina, says the pair got to meet Read when his case appeared on an episode of The Doctors. "We actually ended up spending the day with her," he says, per Entertainment Tonight. "It was just such an amazing experience to meet this person, because she stepped up and did what others probably wouldn't have done." He adds that without Read, he may never have known he had cancer, or "by the time that I would've found out, it probably would've been in a much further stage." El Moussa had the tumor removed and underwent thyroid radioactive iodine therapy. Now "I feel fantastic," he tells People. "Every day that goes by, the odds of the cancer [recurring] decreases, so we're really excited for that." (This dog can also spot thyroid cancer.)