Nicole McGuinness, who appeared on HGTV’s “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” during her search for the perfect beach home, was diagnosed with cancer after a New York-based ear, nose and throat doctor from NYU Langone Health noticed a small mass on her throat while he was luckily watching the show in early May.
“I noticed that she had a lump in her neck,” Voigt told ABC News. “And as a head and neck surgeon, I’m trained to sort of notice these things.”
As ABC News reported, Voigt immediately recognized that the lump could be a serious condition and attempted to find every way possible to find out who she was and how to contact her since the show never mentioned her name.
Thanks to the power and reach of social media, Voigt shared the clip of the HGTV episode on his Facebook page and asked his friends to try and help find a way to contact McGuinness.
“I am watching a tv show and notice this woman has a left thyroid mass. She needs a sonogram and fine needle biopsy,” Voigt posted on his Facebook page. “I wonder if she knows and hope it’s benign.”
Two weeks later, Voigt was able to successfully find out who she was. The social network connected him to 32-year-old Nicole McGuinness of Havelock, North Carolina, who had previously battled stage four brain cancer. Her doctors had not noticed the lump on the left side of her neck before.
Voigt connected with McGuinness and recommended that she get a sonogram and a fine needle biopsy. Taking Voigt’s advice seriously, she went to the hospital and surely enough, was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer shortly after. Although not the most ideal scenario, McGuinness shared with ABC News that she was relieved to have found out sooner rather than later thanks to Voigt’s experience and persistence.
“It’s just a miracle, in my opinion, that he happened to see this on television,” McGuinness told ABC News.
In a heartwarming encounter on Good Morning America on June 5, Voigt and McGuinness met for the first time during the emotional segment.
“Dr. Voigt, I’m going to try to say this without getting emotional,” said McGuinness on Good Morning America. “I have gone through a lot these past couple of years, and never expected to have to be a two-time cancer survivor. But without you keeping a vigilant eye, and watching that television show, who knows how long I would have gone on without that being checked. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.”
McGuinness is the second person on HGTV whose throat cancer was spotted early thanks to a caring viewer – the first being Tarek El Moussa, the star of Flip or Flop.