Every Flip or Flop fan knows that Tarek and Christina El Moussa can turn even the most hopeless-seeming disaster into a profitable success, but they may not know that the (now separated) HGTV couple's triumphant spirit extends beyond dilapidated homes to harrowing medical situations.
In 2013, registered nurse Ryan Read was tuning in to a Flip or Flop marathon when she noticed a suspicious lump on Tarek's throat. She sent the show's production company an email with her concerns, which prompted Tarek to get the lump checked out. It turned out that the lump, along with other ailments like a cough they had been attributing to Tarek's heavy smoking, was actually a symptom of stage 2 thyroid cancer. The parents of young daughter Taylor were scared but moved forward with signature determination.
Within a month, Tarek had his thyroid and lymph nodes removed and was undergoing iodine radiation. The treatments were not only unpleasant, they also derailed the couple's plans for a second child. Determined to grow their family, Christina underwent in vitro treatments. After one failed attempt and another that sadly ended in miscarriage, their son was conceived. "I had to do one full week in bed. For 13 weeks after that, I couldn't go for a walk and couldn't lift anything over a gallon of milk," Christina told People. "We did everything we could to make sure this one worked."
In August 2015, nearly two years after the diagnosis and a year and a half of being cancer free, the couple welcomed baby Brayden James. Want more Christina and Tarek? Check out Flip or Flop airing on HGTV and learn 18 things you probably didn't know about the couple here.