Maria Menounos has graced our screens for years, hosting multiple red carpet specials for various networks and more recently delivering entertainment news as the co-anchor of E! News.
The 39-year-old journalist and actress joined the network in 2014 after stints at Extra and Access Hollywood. She's also made numerous appearances in different TV shows and movies including Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Hell's Kitchen, Nashville and Kickin' It Old Skool.
Not only is Menounos skilled in the newsroom, she's also proven that she can hold her own on the dancefloor with a 4th place finish in the 14th season of Dancing With The Stars and she's also a tough lady in the ring as a former WWE wrestler.
While the Emmy-winning anchor's career has been thriving, her personal life has been filled with some struggles as of late.
Last August, Menounos' mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. The entertainment journalist shared the heartbreaking news on Instagram and revealed that she was putting her wedding plans on hold until her mother was stable.
Thankfully, her mom has been on the road to recovery since and back in February Menounos posted an update about the fight.
Menounos and her family were on the verge of crossing one hurdle when another unexpected health crisis came to light. This time it concerns the anchor herself.
Click on the next page to find out what Menounos' diagnosis is and why she's quitting her position at E!
Back in February, Menounos became concerned after she started experiencing frequent headaches and trouble with speech.
“I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches,” she told People in an exclusive interview. “My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter.”
After undergoing an MRI, it was revealed that she had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball and it was pushing on her facial nerves.
“I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” Menounos said about her initial reaction to her diagnosis. “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?”
The TV and radio host made an appointment with Dr. Keith L. Black, her mother's renowned neurosurgeon, and underwent surgery on June 8th. Dr. Black successfully removed 99.9 percent of the benign tumor after a 7 hour procedure, but there's a chance it will return.
“He said there’s a six to seven percent chance that we’ll see it come back,” Menounos says. “But I’ll take those odds any day.”
Maria is now at home recovering and has made the decision to leave her beloved network so she can "tackle this with the same fierce dedication she is known for" according to Adam Stotsky, President of E! Entertainment.
"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," Menounos said in a press release.
"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."
Menounos recently gave an update on Instagram regarding both her and her mom's health status.
First I wanna say thank you all for the well wishes, prayers and support. It's been a crazy time here in our home. I want you all to know that I'm ok! Seriously I'm recovering well and should be as good as new very very soon! Luckily I don't need any further treatments but I can't say the same about my mom. So please keep her in your prayers. I also want to thank @people for allowing me to share my story. @juliejordanc & @mrjesscagle THANK YOU' Next-I need to thank everyone at @cedarssinai everyone there has been amazing. Most people want to rush out of the hospital to get home I kept saying I've never been treated kinder. I cried like a baby saying goodbye to the amazing nurses who took such good care of me. God bless nurses! I of course need to thank dr black and dr Chu for performing an amazing surgery and giving me the best bday gift ever-my health. And lastly, god has blessed me in so many ways but this too was a blessing. I got to hear what I have meant to my friends and family-it's been quite moving for me. I want thank all of my incredible friends, family and even strangers who have shown me and my family such kindness. @alyssawallerce Thank you for being with me every step of the way. I couldn't have done it without you. @iamjoegear You too! And to @undergaro the best nurse in the world..you never left the hospital and slept by my side there. you are my everything and I'm so thankful to you. You and dad have really been incredible to mom and me. You both have inspired me. I've never been more excited about life. I see so much so clearly. Will share more with all of you soon! Xo
“I don’t have my balance fully yet but as long as I’m holding on to Keven, I’m sturdy and fine,” Menounos told People. “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 added.
Despite everything she's been through, she considers the ordeal as a "blessing" that brought her closer to loved ones and helped her see life in a whole new light.
“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.”
We're wishing Menounos and her mom a speedy recovery!