Maria Menounos is opening up for the first time about her brain tumour diagnosis.
The 39-year-old former E! News host sat down with Megyn Kelly for an intimate conversation, where she discussed how it felt to be diagnosed right when her mother, Litsa, is battling stage 4 cancer and how her life has changed after that moment.
“I think that this was a gift, because I needed to change my life,” Menounos tells the “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” host. “I needed to change the way I did everything.”
In the latest clip, Menounos reveals how she began experiencing symptoms of slurred speech, lightheadedness and headaches, thus prompting her to go to the doctor to get herself checked out.
“At that point, when I said all those things out loud to him [my doctor], the symptoms mirrored what my mom had, and I realized it in that moment,” she explains. “He said, ‘I’m so sorry I have to tell you this because I know you’re going through a lot with your mom, but you have a brain tumour. It’s called a meningioma. You need to schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon right away.'”
“I started kind of chuckling,” Menounos recalls. “Because at this point it’s like: ‘This is a joke. Like, how does this happen?'”
The host then had a seven-hour surgery to remove the tumour, which luckily wasn’t cancerous. But the event changed her life. Earlier this month, Menounos stepped down from her E! News post to recover. “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,” she said in a statement.
As for her mother, Menounos is staying positive. “I just hope that we can make her one of the long-term survivors,” an emotional Menounos expresses to Kelly. “Because I’m worried about her.”
Menounos’ full interview with Kelly will air this Sunday at 7 p.m. on NBC.
For other celebrities who have battled cancer, watch the video below.
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