'God Granted Me a Miracle': Maria Menounos Gives Thanks for Baby Amid Pancreatic Cancer Battle
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An E! News TV host is thanking God for the opportunity to welcome her baby girl after surviving Stage 2 pancreatic cancer.
Maria Menounos, 44, and her husband Keven Undergaro struggled for 10 years to get pregnant. In February, the couple announced they were overjoyed to be expecting a baby girl via surrogate later this year.
We are so grateful to the beautiful family helping us," she told PEOPLE. "Keven, my dad, and I are all beyond excited for this soul to come into our lives. What a blessing."
But the happy news was overshadowed somewhat by Menounos' revelation that she's been battling Stage 2 pancreatic cancer.
Last June, she began suffering from severe leg cramps. "I'd scream out loud, I was inconsolable," she told the outlet.
Menounos soon learned that she had type 1 diabetes – an illness that runs in her family.
She began monitoring her glucose levels, taking insulin, and managing a strict diet. Her health dramatically improved, but a month later she was back in the hospital.
A CT scan and extensive testing showed nothing.
"They said, 'Everything's fine.' But I kept having pains," the host of Heal Squad podcast told PEOPLE.
She went to a whole-body MRI company called Prenuvo to seek more answers.
Results revealed that she had a nearly 4-centimeter mass on her pancreas. Further testing revealed a Stage 2 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor – a form of cancer.
"I'm like 'How in the freaking world can I have a brain tumor and pancreatic cancer?'" she said. "All I could think was that I have a baby coming."
In 2017, Menounos underwent treatment for a benign brain tumor just a year after her mother was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
When they gave me the official diagnosis, I actually started laughing," the news anchor told Brain&Life. "I was just like, I can't believe this could possibly be happening again in my household."
Menounos' mom lost her battle with Stage 4 brain cancer in 2021.
At the time, she wrote on Instagram, "RIP mom. God loved her so much he took her on Greek Easter. Χριστός ανεστι μαμά."
That Greek phrase is translated as: "Christ is risen, Mom."
Thankfully, doctors were able to catch the pancreatic cancer in Menounos early enough.
In February, she underwent surgery to remove the tumor along with part of her pancreas, her spleen, a large fibroid, and 17 lymph nodes, PEOPLE reported.
"It was super painful," she explained. "I couldn't move or lift myself up."
Her husband and father never left her side during her recovery.
According to her physicians, Menounos will not require chemotherapy or additional treatment.
They say she is in good shape. And it is hopeful news as the soon-to-be mom prepares her home for her daughter.
"I'm so grateful and so lucky," she explained. "God granted me a miracle... I'm going to appreciate having her in my life so much more than I would have before this journey."
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