You can have all the riches and success in the world, but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.
TV host Maria Menounos learned that cliché the hard way when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor while caring for her mom, Litsa, who’s battling stage 4 brain cancer.
Menounos has stepped down as co-anchor of E! News – a job she has held since 2015 – to focus on her health and finally start a family. Maria is a veteran entertainment reporter who previously worked at Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight.
The beautiful star underwent brain surgery on June 8 (her 39th birthday) after being diagnosed with a tumor in February 2017. Menounos went to the doctor after suffering severe headaches. An MRI showed a golf ball-sized meningioma brain tumor was pushing down on her facial nerves.
At the time, Menounos was taking care of her mom, who has advanced brain cancer. She said you could have knocked her over with a feather when she got her diagnosis.
“I didn’t cry. I actually laughed!” she told People. “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor. And now I have one too?”
Maria’s doctor was able to remove 99.9% of her tumor, which was benign, but there’s still a 6% to 7% chance it could come back. “I’ll take those odds any day,” she said.
Menounos is now recuperating at the Los Angeles home she shares with her fiancé Keven Undergaro. She hopes to have a baby soon — something she put off for years as she chased her career ambitions.
“I don’t have my balance fully yet, but as long as I’m holding on to Keven, I’m sturdy and fine,” she said “My face is still numb. This is something that takes at least a month of healing, but I’m getting stronger and stronger every day and I’ll be back to normal very soon.”
Meanwhile, MRI scans show Maria’s mom’s cancer is stable for now. Not surprisingly, Menounos’ colleagues and fans were shocked by her health scare because she’s a fitness fanatic who follows a healthy diet and work outs every day.
Maria said the crisis made her realize how important good health and family are. She urged everyone to take care of themselves before it’s too late.
“I tell people all the time if your car is making a weird noise, you take it to the mechanic. How come when our body is making weird noises, we ignore it?” she said. “I’m so lucky that I went to the doctor and raised the alarm.”
Menounos added: “I’ve never been more excited about life. I see so much so clearly.”
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