Fans of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” will recall how one of their own helped to save star Tarek El Moussa’s life after writing in to point out an odd lump that they noticed on his neck. Now El Moussa, who made an appointment immediately after receiving the email and discovered he had stage 3 thyroid cancer, wants to take his story a step further and is sharing that email as part of TNT’s new digital series, “Chasing the Cure Present Saved By a Stranger,” which is a ramp up to the linear series of similar name “Chasing the Cure.”
The new “Chasing the Cure” series features 10, 90-minute live episodes connecting patients who have odd symptoms to top doctors and has a fan interaction element that allows them to ask questions via social media or even submit their own cases for consideration, People magazine reports. El Moussa, an advocate for the project, is sharing his story to kick off the series.
The series, which is anchored by Ann Curry who is also executive producer, will premiere August 8 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on TNT and TBS, and is also giving El Moussa the chance to give back in honor of his eagle-eyed fan — a professional nurse in Texas who reached out during Season 2 of “Flip or Flop.”
“I’m thrilled to be sharing my story because I might be able to save another life,” he told People. “At the end of the day, I know the power of TV and I know the power of medicine. I know the power of people, and when you combine those three, its life-changing and it’s absolutely incredible.”
El Moussa was in his early 30s when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2013, and just a few weeks later he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The father of two said he thought he was going to die, but since entering remission he has used his experience to urge his fans to get their health checked.
On June 2, in honor of “National Cancer Survivor Day,” El Moussa shared photos from his time in treatment as well as one from today.
“The word ‘cancer is one of the scariest words a person can hear,” he wrote. “It is a disease that not only affects the person that’s fighting for their life but also the friends and family members crying by their side. Today is National Cancer Survivor day. I was lucky enough to have overcome two different cancers in recent years… not everyone has been as lucky. I was one of the lucky ones and I think about that every day….literally every day.”
El Moussa went on to honor his friend, a contractor, who died recently from an undisclosed type of cancer, and said he wanted to “send my love to all that have beaten this disease and to those who are currently in battle.”
“Keep up the good fight and know as human beings whether we know you or not we are by your side,” he said. “We are rooting for you!”