After three years, Maria Menounos has decided to leave E! News to focus on her health. “I am so grateful for the past three years at E!,” the 39-year-old anchor said in a statement on July 3. “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.”
VER GALERÍA Maria is leaving E! News after three years, following a surgery to remove a brain tumor in June Photo: Getty Images
Maria, whose mother Litsa is fighting stage four brain cancer, announced her decision after revealing that she underwent surgery to remove a golf ball-sized brain tumor that was pushing on her facial nerves in June. Recalling a meeting with her mom's neurosurgeon, she told People magazine, “He said, ‘I’m 98 percent sure it’s benign but we won’t know until we get in there.” Upon learning of her diagnosis, Maria admitted, “I didn’t cry. I actually laughed." She added, “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?”
The former Extra host underwent the seven-hour surgery on her 39th birthday (June 8). The TV personality's doctors were able to remove 99.9 percent of the benign tumor. “He said there’s a six to seven percent chance that we’ll see it come back,” Maria shared. “But I’ll take those odds any day.” Maria, who got engaged to long-time love Keven Undergaro back in March, shared that her fiancé has stuck by her side throughout the entire ordeal. "I don’t have my balance fully yet but as long as I’m holding on to Keven, I’m sturdy and fine,” she said. “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.”
VER GALERÍA The former anchor's mother is battling stage four brain cancer Photo: Getty Images
As for the experience, the host said that it has helped her turn her focus in a new direction. "My perspective on life is completely different now," she said. "I feel like I have to find my real purpose. This was a blessing. A lot of beautiful things have come from this. I saw all of this as a gift from the beginning.” Maria continued: "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. Who knows what could have happened?"