E! News host Maria Menounos has revealed that she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor recently and underwent brain surgery last month following the diagnosis. The news came just as she was helping to care for her mother, who is battling stage 4 brain cancer.
“I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” she told PEOPLE about the discovery of the golf-ball-size meningioma brain tumor which was discovered following an MRI. “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?”
Maria underwent a 7-hour surgery on June 8, which coincided with her 39th birthday, and her surgeon removed 99.9 percent of the tumor. “He said there’s a six to seven percent chance that we’ll see it come back,” she said. “But I’ll take those odds any day.”
Maria is currently healing from the surgery and is on the mend, she said, but did reveal that she is stepping down from her role at E! News in the wake of the health crisis. “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.”
She joined E! News in 2014 and was named co-anchor of E! News the following year. “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," Maria said in a statement to Deadline. "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.”
As for her mom, Maria told PEOPLE that her mom's latest MRI shows that her cancer is stable. “We’re caretakers as women and we put ourselves last,” she said. “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? I’m so lucky that I went to the doctor and raised the alarm.”
Check out more from Maria, below.