Modern Family is an insanely popular TV show across the world.
But did you know one of the stars battled thyroid cancer in 2000?
When she was 28 years old, Sofia Vergara was at a routine doctor’s appointment when she got some troubling news.
“He felt a lump in my neck,” she recalls. “It was very traumatic,” she says. “I was young. I had a young son. But I tried not to panic. I decided to take charge and inform myself. Of course, I couldn’t Google thyroid cancer from the comfort of my house back then, so I went to bookstores and found out everything I could about it.”
Vergara had to undergo surgery to remove her thyroid gland, which produces a hormone to help regulate the body’s temperature, heart rate, and caloric use. After the surgery, the Modern Family star also had to undergo treatment with radioactive iodine to wipe out any remaining cancer cells.
“Not even the nurses could come close,” she recalls. “They practically throw you your food through a hole in the door,” she joked. “I was lucky that’s all I needed. That kind of cancer is very quiet, and usually you only realize you have it after it’s already spread and it’s much harder to treat.”
Now, 17 years later, Vergara is still cancer-free but has to take a lavender pill every morning to make up for her lack of thyroid.
“I have to take it without any food, and then I sit there counting the minutes for half an hour until I can have my coffee!” she laughs. “I get my blood levels checked every 3 to 6 months to make sure my thyroid levels are good. And of course after cancer, every time I cough or feel something I’m a little paranoid. But I want people to know you can live a normal life with hypothyroidism.”
Now 41, Vergara is a CoverGirl and the highest earning woman on television. She and her new husband, Joe Manganiello, are living a happy and healthy life together! Her 26 year old son, Manolo, is still a big part of her life after raising him alone when she was just 18 years old.