Published Apr 18, 2022
Pushing forward. News anchor Hoda Kotb and her fiancé of 8 years Joel Schiffman may have recently split, but it didn’t stop the breast cancer survivor from being all smiles over the Easter weekend with her family.
Kotb, 57, and her sister Hala, along with Kotb’s kids, also celebrated their mother and grandmother Sameha’s birthday. “Happy Birthday Mom!!! Happy Easter,” the author captioned the family photo, adding bunny emojis and a heart. It is unclear whether or not the financier, 64, was present for the celebration.
“Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and really meaningful conversations over the holidays, and we decided that we’re better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple,” the NYC-based TV personality announced on Today with Hoda & Jenna in late January. The amicable pair co-parent 2-year-old Hope Catherine and Hailey, age 4, both of whom they adopted together.
Kotb followed up with another photo of the two girls sitting on their grandmother’s lap in front of a birthday cake—with colorful balloons in the background.
When you’re going through life transitions, it is particularly important to count the blessings around you, and be thankful for what you do have–in Kotb’s case, three generations of ladies to lean on.
Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2007 when she was 43 years old. Doctors discovered lumps in her breast during a routine exam. She went through a mastectomy and was thankfully declared in remission. Kotb had never had a mammogram before, and this experience led her to become an advocate for breast cancer prevention and awareness.
Known for her positive and upbeat attitude on and off-screen, the loving mother is indeed the perfect person to cheerlead other survivors, but it’s also perfectly okay for her to look to others for support. Sometimes it’s tough to follow your own advice, but we have a feeling that Kotb practices what she preaches in her personal life and has the strength to make it past this latest struggle.
More than anyone, cancer survivors tend to know what they want in life, and if someone or something isn’t serving them, they trust their instinct and move on. Life is short and it’s okay to be make strong choices and stand behind them for what is best for you. When there are children involved, as in this case, a break up can be handled responsibly if both parties respect one another and can put the kids needs’ first, while also honoring and acknowledging their own.
In addition to regular mammogram screenings, women should also do self-exams at home. The American Cancer Society (ACS) says, “Women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and should report any changes to a health care provider right away.”
The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides the following instructions for an at-home examination:
While standing straight in front of a mirror, place your hands on your hips and look at your breasts for any swelling, bulging, changes in the shape of breast or nipple (inverted), redness, rashes, or any fluid leaking. Then do the same with your arms in the air.
Next, while lying down, use your right hand to examine your left breast and vice versa while using your first three fingers to apply pressure. Ensure you cover the entire breast area, from your collarbone to below your ribcage and from your armpit to your cleavage area. Do the same self-exam standing or sitting up. Be sure to use light to medium pressure for the middle breast area and firmer pressure when feeling deep breast tissue.