Maria Menounos didn’t tell her parents she had a brain tumor until three days before her surgery because she didn’t want to upset them while her mother battles brain cancer.
The TV host, who had the noncancerous tumor removed on June 8, and her fiancé Kevin Undergaro ultimately sat down with her parents to break the news shortly before her operation. She called the decision to tell them “the toughest part” of the entire ordeal.
“If my mom was stable, it would have been easier. But because her tumor was growing (at the time), it was really depressing,” Menounos told People as part of its latest cover story. “It was awful because we were all living in this house and keeping this secret.”
Naturally, the news was tough to digest for her parents, Constantine and Litsa.
Maria Menounos steps down from E! News amid brain tumor battle
“(They) just welled up. They were just in shock,” Menounos said. “But we kept reassuring them it would be fine.”
Menounos, 39, first learned she had a benign tumor growing on her brain in February, she revealed to People in a story published earlier this week. The surgery last month proved to be a success, with doctors managing to remove 99.9% of the noncancerous growth that was the size of a golf ball.
The veteran entertainer, who revealed last year that her mom is batting Stage 4 brain cancer, says she’s doing well after the operation but decided to step down from E! News amid her recovery after serving as an anchor at the network for three years.
Her mother, meanwhile, recently received good news from a recent MRI that her cancer is stable — and Menounos says she’s been moved by her mom’s strength.
E! News anchor Maria Menounos says her mother has a brain tumor
“She’s always been positive. Always ‘I feel great,’ just a champ. My goal was just to be as happy and calm as possible because I didn’t want it to be hard on everybody,” she said. “I really prayed, ‘Please God give me the strength that my mom had.’ Because she gave us that gift.”
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