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Biggest Contestants Ever to Appear In “My 600-lb Life”

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The amazing weight-loss journeys of the morbidly-obese individuals documented in the American reality-television show, “My 600-lb Life,” has inspired many of its viewers. It was also the reason why it’s been one of the most-watched TV series on the TLC network. Those who have been deemed inoperable by other surgeons were welcomed by the medical team headed by Dr. Younan Nowzaradan. The other doctors couldn’t be blamed, after all, the risk percentage was just too high, as most of these people weighed more than 600lbs, and some even reached up to 900lbs, over 400kgs.

The “My 600-lb Life” premise and its origins

Helping a morbidly-obese woman, Renee Williams, who weighed about 840lbs, was the inspiration behind “My 600-lb Life.” The TV production company Megalomedia, Inc. filmed a documentary about her search for help back in 2010; the search for the right doctor who was willing to help with her condition led her to Dr. Nowzaradan. At that time, most other surgeons did not want to touch her, because of the complications and the severity of her situation. The weight-loss surgery was successful, but her heart was in really bad shape, such that she died two weeks later. Her family was quite grateful for how the Megalomania handled the filming, and said that they were satisfied with the way the production team took care of Renee. To show their appreciation, they gave to the company the sole distribution rights of the documentary called “World’s Heaviest Woman,” later changed to “Half Ton Mum”

Megalomania pitched the documentary to the TLC network, and it was immediately picked up by the cable channel. When it was aired, it generated overwhelming interest from viewers, and inspired them to make a new documentary series on the topic of weight loss, entitled “Last Chance to Live”, which eventually became “My 600-lb Life.” The TV series premiered on 1 February 2012, and is now in its 10th season. 

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Each season, the TV series provided help for individuals willing to undergo weight-loss treatment. Not all were able to pursue their personal goals, but most of them succeeded in achieving a better life for themselves. Some of their stories ended tragically even with the help of experts. In the span of 10 seasons, the show helped around 125 people to lose weight successfully, through rehabilitation and bariatric surgery.

Meet Dr. Younan Nowzaradan

The man behind the successful life-changing transformations in “My 600-lb Life” was also the same surgeon, Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, who agreed to operate on Renee Williams. It so happened that the good doctor was the father of Joseph Nowzaradan, who was at that time the President of Megalomania, Inc. When the studio company decided to continue producing documentaries on the weight-loss journeys of the morbidly-obese, they partnered with Dr. Nowzaradan, who was fondly called Dr. Now by his patients. 

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The Iranian-born surgeon with Assyrian ancestry was initially a heart surgeon. He finished his medical degree at the University of Tehran, and traveled to the US for his surgical internship at St. John Hospital in Detroit, and he also had a four-year residency at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville. His Cardiovascular Fellowship was done at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston when he was invited by Dr. Denton Cooley, who was famous for being the first to perform artificial heart surgery on a living person. 

Dr. Now never left Houston after that, and established a clinic there. For some reason, he switched from doing cardiovascular surgery to becoming a weight-loss expert, and was the first Houston surgeon to used the advantages of the laparoscopic techniques for other medical surgeries. He specialized in Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery, and also went on to offer post-by-pass corrective surgery to his patients who needed removal of excess skin. His amazing skills led him to become a champion for those who needed weight-loss procedures, and who’d been rejected by other doctors. However, his no-nonsense approach required his patients to follow his strict instructions, and he made them accountable for their actions. He didn’t take any excuses from his patients, but he always gave them options.

“My 600-lb Life” biggest contestants before and after surgery

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The medical reality TV series “My 600-lb Life,” became the platform on which those persons with a Body Mass Index, or BMI of 40 and above could freely gain access to bariatric procedures such as gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric banding. Dr. Now didn’t ask for any professional service fee from those participating patients in the show, saying that while he needed to make a living, it didn’t mean he would get it from just about anybody who sought his skills. Here are the top four biggest patients featured in the show…..

Sean Milken with 919lbs – 1003lbs

When the fourth season aired, viewers were immediately drawn to the story of Sean Milken. At that time, he was the heaviest person to be featured in the TV show in its entirety – he came in weighing 919lbs (417 kgs). His weight problem started when he was about 10 years old, when his parents divorced and he was left in his father’s care. He had a difficult relationship with his father and used food to make himself feel better. His mother eventually took him from his father, but to make up for lost time, she indulged Sean and worsened his food addiction. 

At the time Sean began filming for “My 600-lb Life,” he was 26 years old, and had become highly dependent on his mother because his knees were unable to support his body. Standing up for more than 30 seconds was difficult, and he needed oxygen to help him breathe properly. Having his mother as his enabler, he didn’t qualify for the weight-loss surgery because he couldn’t lose the required weight; in fact, after he received his diet plan, he blew up to 1003lbs (455kgs). The doctor had him admitted to the hospital to monitor him, which helped him lose about 260lbs, however, when he was released back into his mother’s care, he quickly regained 50lbs, so the doctor recommended sessions with a psychiatrist for both him and his mother. It worked, and eventually he lost more than 360lbs, which qualified him for gastric bypass surgery. 

He actually lost 455lbs (206 kg), but when he went back home, he easily regained weight. For the next couple of years, his mother continued to indulge him, so his weight would go up when he was at home, and then down when he was admitted to the hospital. In his third year as Dr. Now’s patient, Sean’s mother passed away, and he couldn’t handle it well, so that his weight ballooned up to 766lbs. He was again admitted to the hospital, but an infection took his life as his heart couldn’t handle the stress that came with it.  He was 29 years old when he died on 17 February 2019.

Samantha Mason with 940lbs – 974lbs

When Samantha Mason was featured in the ninth season of “My 600-lb Life,” she was the heaviest person on the weighing scale of Dr. Now with 940lbs (426 kgs). She became one of the most controversial individuals in the show, because she was an online fetish model who earned money by uploading videos of her gorging on food. Samantha received a lot of hate comments on social media due to her line of work. She struggled with her weight, but when she thought that she was going to die because of it, she participated in the TV show, to seek Dr. Now’s help.

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Just like most of the patients in the show, her weight struggle started when she was a little kid, when her parents divorced and she turned to food for comfort. For a time, she stayed with her dad and stepmother, who tried to restrict her alarming food intake. Due to their family dynamics, she hated it when they controlled her food addiction, and so during her visits with her mother, she was indulged and could eat whatever she wanted, and was over 300lbs by the time she was 12 years old. At 17 years of age, she dropped out of school, was pregnant, and weighed over 500lbs when she had her baby. A tragic motorcycle accident took her father’s life, which contributed to her weight gain, as she’d become closer to him that year, after he apologized for being drunk, mean and violent all those years. Depressed, she turned to food to make herself feel better.

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During her time on the show, Dr. Now monitored her through video calls, because she was in Colorado and his hospital was in Houston. She was initially admitted to the Colorado hospital because of a fall. The good doctor told her that it was impressive that she could still stand up despite weighing close to 1,000lbs, but she needed to do something with her food intake before it was too late. She had a hard time losing the required weight, and needed medical intervention as soon as possible, or she wouldn’t last for another month. Since Dr. Now couldn’t take care of her personally in Colorado, he asked one of his colleagues based there, Dr. Heydari, to perform a gastric sleeve surgery on her as a last-ditch effort to keep Samantha from overeating. Three months after her surgery, she was down to 638lbs. She eventually lost around 478lbs (217 kg) in total, which was the biggest weight loss in the history of “My 600-lb Life.” 

Julius “JT” Clark – 892lbs

In the fourth episode of the eighth season of “My 600-lb Life,” Julius “JT” Clark was introduced to the viewers. At 892lbs (404kgs), he was one of the biggest to feature in the reality-TV show. Before he stepped onto Dr. Now’s weighing scale, he thought he was 600-700lbs and it shocked him to find out that he was eight pounds away from being 900lbs. Despite his weight, he could still stand, take a bath, and prepare his food, but he depended highly on his girlfriend, Jessica, for the other things he needed in his life. He developed a food addiction because he turned to food for comfort whenever he wasn’t feeling good about his life when growing up. JT stopped going to school when he couldn’t fit into the chair anymore, and just worked in a fast-food restaurant to earn his keep, but was let go when he grew bigger.

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To meet Dr. Now, JT together with Jessica traveled from Claymore, Oklahoma to Houston, Texas. He had a hard time sitting on the floor in the back of the car where the seats were removed. Aside from his weight problem, he was also diagnosed with lymphedema on his left leg in 2008, which grew so big that it weighed about 100lbs. The doctor told him that removing it would be difficult at that time, but if he lost weight, it would be easier to address the problem. Dr. Now required JT to lose 150lbs to qualify for the weight-loss surgery, and with his lymphedema becoming infected, he was advised to stay in Houston to avoid traveling back and forth to Claymore.

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Jessica broke up with him which didn’t surprise the viewers, especially considering how he’d treated her in the past. JT then spent a few months in a rehabilitation center to help him lose weight, but had a difficult time there, and wasn’t losing as much weight as was expected of him,  mostly because of his attitude. Eventually he changed, was released from rehab, and moved to a shared home in Houston. Dr. Now told him to be less than 600lbs on his next scheduled appointment – Sean was disappointed when he weighed 619lbs when he next consulted with him, but the doctor saw his effort and approved the weight-loss surgery. He lost a total of 400lbs, and Dr. Now was impressed, saying that he might be far away from his personal goal of 220lbs, but if he reached 450lbs, then he would have his lymphedema removed. JT continued working on losing weight.

Robert Buchel with 842lbs

One of the most tragic moments in “My 600-lb Life” was the death of Robert Buchel of Forked, New Jersey, while he was filming for the sixth season of the TV show. When he was weighed in for the first time in Dr. Now’s clinic, he was 842lbs. Aside from his obesity, he was also taking too many painkillers, without realizing that he was already addicted to them. To ensure that he would qualify for weight-loss surgery, his addiction to the painkillers was also addressed in the hospital, and plans were also made to remove his lymphedema.

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Robert’s weight problem started when he was a kid – his eating habits changed because he had an unlimited food source when his parents opened up a fast-food chicken restaurant. He considered himself some sort of an outcast because he was born with a club foot, and had a hearing problem. His mother said that he never had a great relationship with his brothers growing up, because he was sickly and that the other sons were probably jealous of all the extra care she gave Robert. His weight problem worsened when he was molested by another boy who lived near him; the molester told him that he would kill Robert if he told anyone about it. He turned to food for comfort, and since his parents were quite busy with their business, they never realized what had happened to him. 

TLC’s “My 600-lb Life” may not be for everyone, since the show was criticized for airing some footage that shouldn’t have been shown to the public; some viewers thought it exploited the situation of those obese individuals. This may be true but the reality-TV series also helped to spread awareness about the dangers of food addiction, drug addiction, and inadvertently becoming enablers to those struggling with their weight. While not all of the weight-loss journeys that were documented in the show ended on a good note, it inspired the morbidly obese to seek help from the right people, and know that they could have a quality life ahead of them. if they were willing to do something about it. 

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience. At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

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The Untold Truth About Expedition Unknown

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Although stories about previously unknown, ancient treasures and unveiled mysteries are usually seen as fictional fantasies, those same topics are exactly what makes “Expedition Unknown” so endearing. While the show takes us to the most fantastic and historically meaningful places around the world, what has really been keeping us engrossed with it for years it’s discovering the biggest secrets history has in store for us, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“Expedition Unknown”s premise is very unique and so are the show’s settings, format and approach to topics. However, knowing how well produced and planned it is, it makes us wonder about things we aren’t able to see on-screen.

For this we have prepared a list of the less known facts about the show, including interesting bits about its host Josh Gates, his crew and what they’ve discovered so far. This is the unknown truth about “Expedition Unknown“.

Josh Has An Impressive Career

Just in case you have missed it, Josh Gates has an impressive career both in and outside the entertainment industry. A native of Massachusetts and born into a British-American family, Josh graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Archeology and Drama.

Although the fields are an uncommon combination, his professional background has allowed him to incorporate both. His debut on TV happened back in 2002, when he made short appearances in the ESPN’s game show “Beg, Borrow & Deal” and other TV productions. His big time finally came in 2007 with “Ghost Hunters” and “Destination Truth”, which became Syfy’s most watched show for a while.

While his career as an actor is less well-known, it’s not non-existent either, having played roles in low-budget movies such as “Party Foul” in 2003, and “Hard Cell” in 2007.

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Josh has also been involved with the production of many of the series he’s hosted, including “Stranded” and “Legendary Locations”.

Though Josh’s background as an archaeologist has allowed him to develop the proper experience to be his show’s investigator, his involvement with paranormal-related and myth-hunter shows make him a very multi-faceted TV personality as well.

Filming Takes A Long Time

As expected, when it comes to a show so well planned and shot on location like “Expedition Unknown” is, filming could take unexpectedly long periods of hard work.

As it happens, in “Expedition Unknown” we’re used to seeing Josh and his experts travel around the world. Though that would be genuinely enjoyable for almost everyone, transporting the camera crew and production staff to those places usually takes weeks or even months of preparation, besides the normal time filming takes.

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All in all, it’s said that to produce every season of “Expedition Unknown”, the crew take 200 days a year, out of which hundreds of hours are spent in airplanes and other transport, as Josh affirms.

The Most Dangerous Place

For those who are used to seeing Josh Gates shenanigans in the show, it’s hard to think of naming only one place as the most life-endangering.

However, Josh’s closest call was definitely in Myanmar. It happened back in 2015, when he and his crew were filming the episode “Curse Of The Golden Bell” in the search for an ancient and lost artifact which took him to the depths of the Yangon River. While Josh is a professional scuba diver, he didn’t consider the difficulties that entailed swimming in such muddy waters.

The lack of visibility caused by the heavy pollution and strong currents made his mission to find King Dhammazedi’s Great Bell impossible.

As he affirms, diving there was like ‘working with a blindfold on, feeling around underwater’ and despite his initial enthusiasm, the conditions were not only just too dangerous, but actually the worst he’d ever experienced.

All in all, desisting from it was a good idea, especially considering how many people have actually died in the Yangon River while looking for the Great Bell.

Unexpected News While Filming

It’s nothing out of the normal for TV casts to be in contact with their families while filming, especially for shows like “Expedition Unknown”, in which the crews have to spend long periods traveling and away from their loved ones.

As it comes, Josh Gates was given one of the best news items of his life while filming the show. It was back in season two, when Josh and his crew were in Portugal filming the episode “Secrets of Christopher Columbus”, as he was phoned by his wife to tell him they were having a baby.

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The exact moment in which an overly excited and emotional Josh informs people around him that he was going to become a dad for the first time, was filmed and included in the episode.

Later in season four, again while on the road with the “Expedition Unknown”s crew, Josh was informed that he was going to become a father for a second time; he wasn’t filmed, we can clearly imagine his reaction.

Humor Doesn’t Always Go As It Should

Despite being an investigation-centered show, “Expedition Unknown” always has a little touch of humor to make everything lighter.

However, despite how entertaining and light-hearted Josh Gates’ jokes are to us, he affirms that being funny isn’t his strongest skill. According to him, his attempt at humor ‘falls flat all the time’, but it’s admittedly his way of not only keeping the audience’s attention, but to make the work environment easier to endure during situations hard to deal with.

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Despite the extensive planning the show’s staff does, things in “Expedition Unknown” don’t always go as they should while filming, so joking and trying to lift everyone’s spirits on set is considered important in Josh’s perspective. That positive approach is probably appreciated by his fellow co-workers, and the audience surely enjoys seeing  and hearing it.

Food Is Not Always Safe To Consume

For a show such as “Expedition Unknown”, unexpected problems related to environmental factors occur quite often. As is obvious, the crew usually deals with problems just fine, but there are times in which things get so out of hand that it could endanger the cast’s wellbeing.

The latter situation happened during the fourth season, when the crew was in Ecuador filming “Hunt for the Metal Library”, and had to spend a long time enclosed in a cave. While the crew was prepared beforehand to successfully face the conditions of said environment, having to eat in a place where there were many animals had its consequences.

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This resulted in three members of the show’s crew falling sick for consuming bat’s excrement that somehow had fallen on their food. While their health’s condition didn’t worsen and their sickness was actually not as serious as it sounds, it’s enough to give us an idea of how far the show goes to keep the cameras rolling.

Josh Married A Co-Star

As should be obvious, Josh Gates’ work schedule has been very hectic since he made his TV debut. Knowing he spends a significant part of his life on set, it’s understandable that he ended up meeting his significant other half there as well.

As it happened, Josh and his then wife-to-be Hallie Gnatovich met on the set of his formerly-hosted show “Destination Truth”, for which she worked as an off-camera researcher. Though details about their relationship are unknown, in 2014 they tied the knot, and have since welcomed two children together.

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Despite Josh’s celebrity status, he and Hallie have carefully kept their children’s privacy, by not revealing their names or faces to the public. Regardless of their choice maintaining their private, their relationship always looked blissful from the outside, that is until Hallie announced in August 2021 that she and Josh had been separated for ‘a year and half’. In her words, their divorce had been officialized just a couple of months before, and both of them were still trying to figure out their shared parenthood and separate lives.

Josh Gates Famous Necklace

One never gets surprised enough when it comes to celebrities and things their fans do for them. Although Josh Gates’ personality is pretty much on the humble and chill side, some of the weirdest aspects of being famous is the fact that his necklace, which he usually wears in the show, has become quite popular as well.

If you don’t believe us, you only have to look up “Josh Gates Necklace” on Facebook, and see it for yourself. As it turns out, the page is very active and usually updates “Expedition Unknown” fans on Josh’s shenanigans.

While the aforementioned accessory has been described as ‘not magical’ by Josh, seeing that its page has over 3,000 fans and keeps growing, it makes us question if his words are actually untrue.

How Topics Are Selected

Seeing that “Expedition Unknown”s main premise is that of pursuing and unveiling ancient mysteries, it’s only expected that a lot of research takes place prior to letting its crew adventure into often unknown territory.

There are certain aspects which play a big role while choosing what and where the show’s crew is going to explore. While every myth could be interesting enough to be considered, what catches the show’s research team’s attention is if the stories indeed have substance, or as Josh describes it, if they have ‘meat on the bone’.

With the help of international archaeologists and experts in other fields, Josh and his crew follow the leads that actually lead to something instead of simply being completely unproven.

Besides the obvious pre-research that they go through, logistics and resources are factors not to be left aside. However, according to Josh, he and the show’s crew go on their adventures without knowing a great deal about what is going to happen in the end, which obviously makes the whole deal more interesting for both them and the audience.

What Josh Has To Say About William Shatner

Throughout the years, “Expedition Unknown” has surely given us many memorable moments. Out of those, one of the most interesting was shown in the series’ spin-off, “Shark Trek”, featuring William Shatner.

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Of course, this sort of tribute to “Star Trek” was unexpected considering the show’s usual concept. Despite that, the challenges encountered by Josh Gates’ crew along the way turned out as an extraordinary experience for everyone.

However, if there’s something that stuck in our heads it was how easily William adapted to the show. It wasn’t only us who noticed it though, as Josh admitted himself that besides being an amazing co-star, William’s genuine interest made everything more enjoyable.

According to Josh, what made William’s a memorable partner was definitely his willingness to ‘tackle and understand’ his fear, in order to ultimately conquer it. Those are qualities which surely an expedition expert such as Josh appreciates a lot, and will make us remember the special show with a smile for a long time.

The Reason They Went On Exploring Sharks

As entertaining as “Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek’ was, at first many people were surprised to find that the series would continue exploring sharks, which was an admittedly unusual topic for a series mostly focused on uncovering other types of mysteries.

While the reaction is understandable, there were actually good reasons for this objective. As Josh explained, more than just going on a trip looking for sharks, his main focus was to explore human’s fearful attitude towards the unknown. In his words, the common fear towards these animals is partially caused by the media’s influence, films such as “Jaws”, and prejudices based on their appearance. However, by examining these sea creatures, Josh wanted to not only understand them, but to debunk the many misconceptions surrounding the species.

Needless to say, Josh’s intentions with the show are well appreciated by the audience, and surely by environmentalists as well.

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The Reason It Has Many Spin-Offs

“Expedition Unknown” has spawned several spin-off mini-series over the years, including titles such as “Hunt For The Yeti” and “Egypt Live”, which makes us feel happy to see it becoming a successful franchise.

However, while these aforementioned series were meant to show specific expeditions made by the crew in a deeper way, for the last couple of years, long-running spin-offs “Josh Gates Tonight” and “Expedition X” have also been released.

The reasoning behind creating these series in this new format, is a matter of adapting to the several regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult to produce “Expedition Unknown” in the same way we were used to.

Traveling and filming is also a big concern for the show’s production team for the same reason, but they’ve at least continued to produce content for the franchise until the situation improves. That’s a relief for fans, who still wait for “Expedition Unknown”s return to TV screens as it was previously.

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What happened to Christie Brimberry from Gas Monkey Garage?

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For a time, fans of the reality-television series called “Fast N’Loud” were worried that one of its stars, Christie Brimberry, wouldn’t appear again in their favorite automotive restoration TV show. Due to health issues, she couldn’t perform her duties as the office manager of Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey Garage, which was the focal point of the reality-TV series. She took a break from managing the business in 2016 to focus on getting healthy, with the blessing of everyone in the shop. Loyal fans were relieved when she was seen again in the 15th season of one of the most-watched car shows on Discovery Channel.

Christie’s Early Life and Family

Not much information about her family and early life was revealed to the public. All that was known about her was that she was born on 25 March 1972, in Dallas, Texas, because Christie was very careful about what she shared in her social media accounts and during interviews.

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On her social media pages, she was proud to post that she had a good relationship with her parents, most especially her mother who passed away in 2015. She also shared some rare photos with her sister, and said that she was her ‘ride or die until the tires fall off’.

Christie has been married for many years to Darren Brimberry, a professional hairstylist with a hair salon in Dallas. She has six children, and some featured in her Instagram account, although some fans wondered why she has children of Afro-American descent. A fan complimented her for adopting them, but another said that she didn’t adopt any of them, but without offering any other information; much speculation formed but she never addressed the isue. Some of her children have graduated from college, and some are already married. When she posted a tribute to her mother during Mother’s Day in 2020, she mentioned that her old lady was about to be a great-grandmother soon.

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From Gas Monkey Garage to “Fast N’Loud” reality-TV

The Gas Monkey Garage is a Dallas-based custom auto shop founded by Richard Rawlings. After seeing automotive shows on TV, he realized that there was a chunk of the untapped market that those TV shows hadn’t taken advantage of – he noticed that his wife and kids wouldn’t stay and watch an auto show with him. The businessman in him knew that he needed to have a garage first to get to that point of creating a TV show. It was like hitting two birds with one stone, since his passion was automotive restoration and customization, so he sold his printing and advertising business to open up a garage in Dallas. Christie was hired through her husband, Darren, who was Richard’s hairstylist.

For many years, he had been pitching the TV show concept to Discovery Channel, until the cable executives eventually accepted the idea and “Fast N’Loud,” was born.

Unlike other automotive shows on TV with overwhelming machismo, Richard toned it down and made it appealing to women and kids without turning off the male viewers. The premise of the TV series was that he would look for worn-down classic or vintage cars all over the country, and purchase them for his team to restore them at the garage. After the fabrication and restoration process, Richard would sell the vehicle at a higher price, creating a significant profit for the business.

All through this, Christie was responsible for assisting Richard in dealing with all the chaos and drama involving the various people in the team – even shouting at her boss – to make sure everyone stayed on course so that they could meet the deadline. The first episode aired in June 2012 and the final episode in June 2020, all in all 155 episodes over the course of 16 seasons, produced by Pilgrim Studios for Discovery Channel.

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Meet Christie’s Co-Workers at Gas Monkey Garage

It might be Richard Rawlings who owned the garage, but it was his team of experienced professionals who were responsible for the actual restoration and customization of each car. He had the final say on the overall plan, such as choosing the car to be restored, the schedule, and approval of the budget for the proposed project, while Richard’s sister, Daphne Kaminski, worked as the Head of Operations.

The main mechanic and chief fabricator, Aaron Kaufman, was there almost from the start until he left the garage to open up his own fabrication shop in 2018, and subsequently starred in his own TV show also aired on Discovery Channel. He was with Richard for 14 years, but they maintained a friendship afterwards, as Richard respected him not only as a fabricator but also as a person. Christie even promoted and congratulated Aaron when he finally launched his own online shop.

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The rest of the team was comprised of Tony Cano, Mike Coy, and Kennan Hons (Paint and Body Tech Team), Chad Isbell (Automotive Parts Expert), Russell Holmes (Mechanic), J. Cheatham and J. Freeman (Fabricators), Jon Rodriguez (Wiring Expert), and Jason Aker (Firebird expert),

The Real Reason Why Christie Left Gas Monkey Garage in 2016

Ignoring potential health problems was one of the reasons why Christie had to leave Gas Monkey Garage abruptly and indefinitely. It was revealed that back in October 2016, she went through life-threatening surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node from her thyroid. Initially, she didn’t want to share her experience with the public, as she was a very private person. However, she eventually thought it best to educate people about the importance of getting a medical examination when one’s body didn’t feel right.

Apparently, before August 2016 ended, she felt something like a small knot in her throat, but ignored it, thinking that it just had something to do with her Hashimoto condition, a disease that attacks the thyroid and creates nodules in the throat. When it became annoying and felt like having a finger shoved down her throat, Christie had it examined; she had an ultrasound, and when the doctor saw the size of the nodule, a biopsy followed. Somehow she knew deep inside that it could be something worse and dangerous, and 12 days later, her suspicions were confirmed. She had thyroid cancer and the only good thing about it was the doctor saying that it had only affected one lymph node, but it had to be treated right away because it was aggressive.

Christie was assured by her doctor that it would be an easy surgery, that the removal of the thyroid and the cancerous lymph node was done in one day, however, when they operated on her, it was discovered that cancer had spread and a cluster of lymph nodes was removed.

The doctor also had to remove a part of her trachea because it was affected as well. Unfortunately, during the process of removing all of it, the nerve in her voice box was cut, which resulted in her having no voice at all, and she was informed that the condition could last for about six months or so. Christie also had chemotherapy to help fully remove the cancerous cells from her body.

In November 2016, the tube that was inserted in her throat and the stitches were removed, however, the doctor identified that the left side of her voice box was still paralyzed, which made talking and swallowing difficult. Instead of the initial prognosis of six months, the doctor said it would take around eight months to a year before she regained her voice.

Christie went back for a follow-up after a month, and there was an improvement. She got her voice tone back, but she lost a lot of volume.

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She was advised to stop taking her thyroid medication so that she could receive Radioactive Iodine treatment; this created an imbalance in her thyroid hormones, that left her emotionally drained, such that she would cry often, and had little control over her emotions. Being on a low iodine diet, which meant no bread, no dairy and no commercially processed food, made it even more unbearable.

However, after a year of non-stop treatment and a disciplined lifestyle, Christie was declared cancer-free by her doctor in December 2017. She posted on her official Facebook page, ‘I went through the last of my treatment last week, and had my one-year bone scan on Friday! The results came back today and I am CANCER FREE!!!’

Back on Gas Monkey Garage and “Fast N’Loud”

While Christie was never fired from Gas Monkey Garage, as Richard was very supportive of her, she wasn’t physically able to join the rest of the cast of “Fast N’Loud.”

She totally regretted that she wasn’t part of the filming of the Mannequin Challenge that Richard and the rest of the team did in December 2016, however, she made sure to be active on her social media platforms Instagram and Facebook to help promote the TV show. There was even a time when she went live while an episode was being aired, just to stay connected with the fans.

When the doctors cleared her to return to work, she was welcomed back in the garage. On 13 June 2018, Richard posted on his official Facebook page, a photo of him sitting behind his desk in his office at Gas Monkey Garage with Christie looking on while pointing out something on a ledger. It was business as usual, and he captioned it with ‘Working hard and havin’ fun’, while Christie posted the same photo with the caption, ‘I love my job.’ Fans were able to see her once again in the last two seasons of their reality-TV series.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Loyal fans were shocked that Richard announced during a guest appearance in the podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in December 2020, that the 16th season that was aired earlier that year was the last from his team. He didn’t renew his contract with Discovery Channel, saying that it had run its course. However, he assured the fans that he had many plans for Gas Monkey Garage on other media platforms.

True enough, Gas Monkey Garage has been continuously uploading videos on their official YouTube channel, which has over 800,000 subscribers. They also created a podcast called “Monkey Trap with Richard Rawlings”, with their Facebook page having close to five million followers. Recently, the Gas Monkey Garage online merchandise shop launched Richard Rawling’s Car Sweepstakes, in which anyone who purchased $1 worth of merchandise automatically received a raffle ticket for the vehicle giveaway. For instance, a $35-trucker hat would mean 35 raffle entries into the giveaway contest.

A federal-regulated sweepstakes agency was tasked to draw the winner each time the giveaway countdown ends.

Christie Brimberry net worth and financial difficulties

According to authoritative sources, Christie has an estimated net worth of $2 million, some earned from her participation in the reality-TV series and her involvement with the Gas Monkey Garage business. This assess thatment must be true before her battle with cancer, because in some of her social media posts, she shared that she had a hard time paying for the medical bills she incurred for her cancer treatment, saying the insurance coverage that she had wasn’t large enough to cover all the expenses. To alleviate some of the expenses, she marketed events and brands through paid sponsorship on her social media accounts, and was even accused of being a sellout through the comments she received. One time, she was fed up with them that she told everyone that it was her way of surviving, and if they didn’t approve, they could unfollow.

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When “Fast N’Loud” ended its run, fans were worried that Christie lost another source of income. After a while, she announced that she’d opened up an account in OnlyFans.com. While some of her fans were apprehensive about this, the move no longer surprised them and they suspected it was to be used for a secondary source of revenue. Most of the celebrities and regular folks joined this web content subscription service, so that they could earn money from subscribers. It was one of those social media platforms that allowed content creators to receive funding from their fans for exclusive pay-per-view photos or videos. It actually created an uproar over the Internet, as most of the content offered consisted of sexually explicit videos and photos.

When Christie posted a teaser showing a photo of her wearing an unbuttoned shirt revealing her cleavage down to her tummy, the fans expected racy content from her.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B56O9l5A2zC/

However, she clarified many rumors that went around after her OnlyFans announcement, debunking what most of the fans thought was her reason for joining, saying that it wasn’t for financial reasons because she wasn’t broke. She also said that she wasn’t getting a divorce, that the OnlyFans idea came from her husband. Christie said she was just happy and that the timing was perfect as she was in a place where she’s most comfortable with her skin. Not everyone believed her because of her previous posts about her problems with finances due to her surgery and all that came with it. For $24, a subscriber could access the 165 digital media she posted about herself for three months on her OnlyFans account, however, the controversial crowd-sourcing site announced that it would prohibit account users from uploading explicit images and videos, as of October 2021.

https://www.facebook.com/GasMonkeyGarage/photos/t.100044231209485/675220785834592/?type=3

Her profile on her official OnlyFans account showed ‘I used to be that girl from that show but now I’m the girl from that website! No porn, I’m not a porn star.’ However, her sexy photos in which her nipples were in full view were leaked to the public, even if there was a warning on her page that said, ‘Any images/videos re-uploaded elsewhere online will be sent a DMCA from my lawyer, and legal ramifications will be enforced.’ Some of her subscribers said it was like Christie posted for racy magazines such as Playboy or Penthouse.

“Fast N’Loud” fans were wondering if she’s still connected with Gas Monkey Garage, because based on her Instagram and Facebook accounts, she hasn’t posted anything about them in 2021. The pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus has surely created problems for all types of businesses all over the world, and it would not be impossible at all if the auto shop undertook some reorganization of its staff and crew.

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