2013 was a rough year for HGTV's El Moussa family. A viewer of their show Flip or Flop noticed something was amiss with Tarek, and sent a concerned email that spurred the HGTV star to see his doctor. Tarek was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which was treatable – but the treatments were unpleasant, and they complicated the plans he had for a second child with wife Christina. Several IVF procedures ensued. Today, Tarek is cancer-free and the El Moussa family is one bigger with last year's addition of baby Brayden.
We recently had a chance to sit down with the TREND Group ambassadors at an event celebrating the launch of their own line, the Diamond Collection. When we asked about getting through that difficult time in their lives, Tarek was refreshingly honest.
"It would suck. Had a couple tough years there," he said and went on to explain the difficult recovery process.
"Getting rid of your thyroid and being given different hormones and T3 and T4, surgery, and the radioactive iodine. It messes with your system. And It was really hard to find the right balance. Because you get anxiety, you get really tired you get lethargic, you gain weight," he said, noting the challenges of trying to rebalance your body when the thyroid, which secretes hormones responsible for essential functions including growth and metabolism, is removed. "It took a long time just to get to the point where I was feeling better. And that was just medication-wise, so it was definitely a tough process."
Anyone who has suffered from the disease undoubtedly appreciates his candor. We're thrilled that Tarek has overcome this difficult time to stand as an example of how you can get through it and thrive on the other side.