E! News anchor Maria Menounos underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove a brain tumor the size of a golf ball. The tumor, a benign meningioma, was successfully removed but has a possibility of returning. Her mother, Litsa Menounos, is currently fighting stage 4 brain cancer.
“This February I thought I had an ear infection so I went to a doctor, and he said, ‘Your ears are the cleanest things I’ve ever seen. What else are you feeling?’ I’d been getting light-headed on-set and having headaches. My speech had gotten slurred, and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter. I said, ‘I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I think I have a brain tumor like my mom.’ He said, ‘I don’t think you’re crazy. Let’s just get an MRI,'” she tells People (on newsstands this week). “The next week I started feeling better, so I was like, ‘I’m clearly paranoid.’ So I kept pushing the MRI.”
Maria hopes that sharing her story will help others. “My perspective on life is completely different now. I feel like I have to find my real purpose.” Like her mother, she’s doing her best to stay positive. “This was a blessing. A lot of beautiful things have come from this,” Maria says, adding, “I saw all of this as a gift from the beginning. 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,” she says. “Who knows what could have happened?”