The last couple of years have been tumultuous for E! News anchor Maria Menounos. In 2016, her mother, Litsa, was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer, and shortly after, the entertainment journalist revealed that she was putting her wedding plans on hold until her mother's condition was stable.
About a year after the news of her mother's cancer came to light, Menounos, 39, herself received a diagnosis that changed her life. After undergoing an MRI, doctors found had a benign meningioma brain tumor the size of a golf ball that 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?”
She underwent a seven hour surgery last June, and renowned surgeon Dr. Keith L. Black successfully removed 99.9 percent of the tumor. Menounos was told that there is a six to seven percent chance that the cancer could return, but the odds are now in her favor.
Despite everything she and her family have been through, Menounos considers the cancer a "blessing" because it has brought her closer to her loved ones. She also has a totally new outlook on life and has been trying to live in the present as much as possible, including marrying her longtime boyfriend, Keven Undergaro.
"Keven's been my savior,'' Menounos recently told NBC's Megyn Kelly. "He never left my side in the hospital. I was crying, 'I just want to get married! I want to have kids!' I've been pushing the wedding thing, but he said, 'Listen, I'm working on something.'"
Just a few weeks after opening up about postponing their wedding, Menounos and Undergaro finally tied the knot, and they did it on live on television on New Year's Eve.
Menounos and Undergaro have been engaged since March 2016, but the pair have been dating for 20 years. After pushing back their wedding date due to Menounos and her family's health issues, they finally said "I do."
The pair started the new year as husband and wife after getting married during Fox's New Year's Eve broadcast from Times Square.
“Omg! I can’t believe we are finally getting married after 20 years #coldestbrideever," Menounos tweeted before exchanging vows.
In addition to the millions who tuned into to watch the show, Menounos's parents, Litsa and Constantine, were there to witness their daughter get hitched. The TV host did not tell them her plans until the live broadcast started. She told her mother that she decided to go for it after Kris Jenner recently gave her advice: "Tomorrow's never promised."
"Family Feud" host Steve Harvey officiated the wedding after he became ordained only 48 hours before the ceremony.
Aside from health reasons, Menounos is convinced that it took them this long to get married because of the "pressures of putting together a wedding."
"I've always wanted it to be super intimate and even though this is the opposite, we can only invite our immediate family, so the pressure of who to invite is gone," she told People after the ceremony. "This was just so perfect."
As for Undergaro, he's happy that he finally gets to refer to Menounos as his wife after spending two decades together.
"I'm excited to be able to call her my wife," Undergaro said. "It's been girlfriend for so long that it will be nice to finally, finally be able to say 'my wife'."
We wish them all the best as they start a new chapter together!