Maria Menunos has been dealing with a serious health issue.
After it was revealed that her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, the television and radio host has announced that she too has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches,” Menunos tells PEOPLE in the magazine’s exclusive new cover story after experiencing symptoms back in February. “My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter.”
She later discovered that she had a golf-ball-size meningioma brain tumor that was pushing on her facial nerves. “I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” she recalls. “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?”
Menunos had an extensive surgery on her 39th birthday, June 8th, which lasted about seven hours.
“He said there’s a six to seven percent chance that we’ll see it come back,” she says of her surgeon Dr. Black who was able to remove 99.9 percent of the tumor. “But I’ll take those odds any day.”
In related news, following her diagnosis, Menunos has announced that she is leaving E! and E! News after three years.
“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,” Maria 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.”
“Our thoughts and support go out to Maria and her family and we wish them all the best knowing that Maria will tackle this with the same fierce dedication she is known for,” Adam, President of E! Entertainment, said. “We are grateful for Maria’s many contributions to E! over the past three years.”