Maria Menounos is leaving “E! News”, after undergoing surgery to remove a benign brain tumour.
The operation in early June was successful, but the tumour could reportedly return. Menounos’ mother is currently receiving treatment for stage 4 brain cancer.
The TV host thanked fans for their “prayers and support” on Monday, posting a selfie on Instagram with her mom, who is currently fighting cancer herself.
First I wanna say thank you all for the well wishes, prayers and support. It's been a crazy time here in our home. I want you all to know that I'm ok! Seriously I'm recovering well and should be as good as new very very soon! Luckily I don't need any further treatments but I can't say the same about my mom. So please keep her in your prayers. I also want to thank @people for allowing me to share my story. @juliejordanc & @mrjesscagle THANK YOU' Next-I need to thank everyone at @cedarssinai everyone there has been amazing. Most people want to rush out of the hospital to get home I kept saying I've never been treated kinder. I cried like a baby saying goodbye to the amazing nurses who took such good care of me. God bless nurses! I of course need to thank dr black and dr Chu for performing an amazing surgery and giving me the best bday gift ever-my health. And lastly, god has blessed me in so many ways but this too was a blessing. I got to hear what I have meant to my friends and family-it's been quite moving for me. I want thank all of my incredible friends, family and even strangers who have shown me and my family such kindness. @alyssawallerce Thank you for being with me every step of the way. I couldn't have done it without you. @iamjoegear You too! And to @undergaro the best nurse in the world..you never left the hospital and slept by my side there. you are my everything and I'm so thankful to you. You and dad have really been incredible to mom and me. You both have inspired me. I've never been more excited about life. I see so much so clearly. Will share more with all of you soon! Xo
Menounos first noticed something might be wrong earlier this year.
“This February I thought I had an ear infection so I went to a doctor, and he said, ‘Your ears are the cleanest things I’ve ever seen. What else are you feeling?’ I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches. My speech had gotten slurred,” Menounos told People, adding “and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter. I said, ‘I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I think I have a brain tumour like my mom.’ He said, ‘I don’t think you’re crazy. Let’s just get an MRI.’ The next week I started feeling better, so I was like, ‘I’m clearly paranoid.’ So I kept pushing the MRI.”
Menounos finally had the scan in April and was diagnosed with meningioma, a kind of brain tumour.
“I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” Menounos said. “At that point, it was like, ‘This is a joke.” She only told her parents about her diagnosis a few days before her surgery. “Both of them just welled up,” she said. “They were just in shock, but we kept reassuring them it would be fine.”
The seven-hour surgery was completed on June 8, Menounos’ 39th Birthday, and she says that they “got 99.9 per cent of it,” though doctors do caution that there’s a 6 to 7 per cent chance of the tumour returning. “I’ll take those odds any day,” Menounos said.
Meanwhile, Menounos’ mother Litsa is reported to be “stable” after the latest scans show her malignant tumour appears to be shrinking.
Menounos’ own surgery, as well as taking care of her mother through cancer, led to the decision to leave “E! News”.
“I just want to be still for a bit and see what I’m supposed to be in this world. For me, sharing this story is important on so many levels. I hate secrets,” Menounos said. “I also want to help women realize that they have to put themselves first. I wouldn’t have ever known or imagined that this was going on if I hadn’t seen the symptoms in my mom. I want to encourage people to find some stillness in their life so they can listen to their bodies—and hear what’s going on.”
In a statement, Menounos added, “I am so grateful for the past three years at E!. I had such an amazing time co-hosting with Jason Kennedy and working everyday with the wonderful roster of talent on the show including producers, staff and crew. It was such a special, good-hearted group and one I’ll always consider family. A special thank you to Frances Berwick and Adam Stotsky for all the support they have shown me through the years especially during these tough times. I will truly miss everyone and looking forward to this next chapter in my life.”
Menounos is getting full support from her colleagues. “Our thoughts and support go out to Maria and her family,” said Adam Stotsky, President of E! Entertainment, “and we wish them all the best knowing that Maria will tackle this with the same fierce dedication she is known for. We are grateful for Maria’s many contributions to E! over the past three years.”
Menounos first started with “E! News” in 2014, and was promoted to anchor in 2015.