Litsa Menonous, the mother of E!News host Maria Menounous, is fighting brain cancer at the same time her daughter has announced having her own brain tumor.
The health battles of the two Menounos’ women were revealed when Maria, 39, announced on July 3 that she was stepping down from her hosting duties because she had a large brain tumor removed.
Litsa has had bit parts of her own in Hollywood.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Litsa Menounos Is Battling Brain Cancer & Maria Called Her Mom a ‘Champion’
Litsa Menounos was diagnosed with brain issues first.
According to People Magazine, Litsa is fighting stage 4 brain cancer, and Maria has been taking care of her mother.
Litsa’s latest MRI “shows that her cancer is stable,” People Magazine reported. According to Daily Variety, Maria “has also chronicled her mother’s fight with stage four glioblastoma on her personal platforms,” social media, a newsletter and a SiriusXM show.
In February, she wrote on Instagram of her mom, “✨Good News ✨yesterday at moms latest MRI …stable & looks to be getting better! We are so thankful to everyone for their love & prayers. Praying we continue in this direction.”
In January, Maria wrote of her mom, “#footballsundays with mom…she’s doing great btw! Thank you all for your love and prayers! They are working!!”
Both of Maria’s parents cried when she told them that she had a brain tumor while her mother was fighting brain cancer. “Maria told her parents about her diagnosis days before undergoing surgery,” EOnline reported, quoting Maria as saying, “Both of them just welled up. They were just in shock, but we kept reassuring them it would be fine.”
Maria had learned her mother had brain cancer in August 2016, writing on Instagram that her mother was “a champion” for how she endured treatments, and noting, “And so our journey begins. Please pray for her full recovery.” Despite her unimaginable pain, she kept the faith, hashtagging “#choosehappiness” and “#wewillfight.”
2. Maria Menounous’ Doctor Says There Is Only a Slim Chance Her Brain Tumor Will Come Back
Maria Menounos learned about her own health issues in April 2017. Maria thought she had an ear infection at first, EOnline reported.
According to EOnline, Maria “underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove a brain tumor the size of a golf ball. The tumor, a benign meningioma, was successfully removed but could return.”
However, doctors believe there is only a small chance of that.
In addition to E!News, Maria has worked Access Hollywood, Today, and Extra.
“My face is still numb,” Menounos told People. “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.”
3. Litsa Menounos Has Had a Few Small Roles in Hollywood
According to IMDB, Litsa has appeared on Chasing Maria Menounos (2014), Operation Shock and Awe… some (2008) and Adventures of Serial Buddies (2011).
The latter two movies were directed by Maria’s fiance Keven Undergaro.
Chasing Maria Menounos was a reality show about Maria’s life. Litsa appeared as herself for 10 episodes.
4. Maria Is Litsa’s Only Child
Litsa is married to Constantinos Menounos. They have one child, Maria, according to IMDB.
Constantinos Menounos also appeared in Maria’s reality show alongside his wife.
5. Maria Was Born in Medford, Massachusetts, Where She Was a Beauty Queen
Maria Menounos was born in Medford, Massachusetts. She was Miss Massachussetts Teen USA 1996.
She is from a strict Greek family, and her parents were upset when she first started dating her Italian boyfriend.