E! News co-anchor and Sirius XM radio host Maria Menounos is in recovery after undergoing surgery to remove a meningioma brain tumor.
The star was caring for her mother, Litsa Menounos, who was fighting stage 4 brain cancer when Maria found out she was facing a health emergency of her own. In February, Maria started experiencing unexplained health issues and began looking into her concerning symptoms. “I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches,” she told PEOPLE. “My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter.” After meeting with a doctor to determine a diagnosis, an MRI revealed Menounos had a golf-ball sized brain tumor that was putting pressure on her facial nerves. “I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” she recalls when receiving news of the diagnosis. “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?”
Since the traumatic diagnosis, Maria has had her tumor removed and the prognosis is positive. She has formally decided to step down from her E! News position following the health crisis and released an official statement. “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,” Maria said. “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.”
The former One Tree Hill actress also spoke to the Today show which aired on Monday July 3 about the tragic situation. “For me, I saw it as a huge blessing and a huge gift because I needed to change my life,” she said emotionally. Maria has been receiving constant support from her fiance Kevin Undergaro and revealed, “I want to start a family. You realize really quickly when something like this happens that nothing else really matters.”