- Maria Menounos, 42, has lost her mother to stage four brain cancer.
- Her mom, Litsa, was diagnosed in 2016 at age 61.
- The process of losing a parent to cancer can be helped with resources like therapy.
Menounos has publicly shared her family’s cancer struggle in an admirably vulnerable way, perhaps making other families coping with this disease feel less alone.
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Instagram users voiced their love and support for Menounos.
Actress Zoe Saldana writes, “We send you so much love. Our deepest condolences Maria.”
Entertainment reporter Catt Sadler says, “I know one thing for certain — your mother knew the most extraordinary love there ever was to know because of you. Your devotion to her was unparalleled. She’s with other angels now.”
“Sending my Love, condolences and prayers! So sorry for your loss!” writes Good Morning America host Michael Strahan.
“Beloved mother. Beloved daughter. Sending love knowing you are surrounded by it more than ever RIP,” writes actress Selma Blair.
Litsa’s Brain Cancer Battle
Litsa was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, one of the most common—and most aggressive—brain tumors in 2016 when she was 61 years old. For those with brain cancer, treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The treatment path will typically depend upon the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis.
While Menounos was taking care of her mother, she started having strange symptoms like ear pain, dizziness and blurred vision. She told her mother’s doctor, thinking she was crazy that she was having similar issues. After an MRI, they discovered a golf ball-sized (non-cancerous) benign tumor.
“When they gave me the official diagnosis, I actually started laughing,” Maria said in an interview. “I was just like, I can’t believe this could possibly be happening again in my household.”
Menounos underwent a 7-hour brain surgery on her 39th birthday in June 2017.
Menounos’ mom and dad were also both hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Coping with the Loss of a Parent to Cancer
Losing a parent to cancer can feel devastating, and coping with the grief may seem insurmountable – but it can be done. Seeking a skilled therapist as your work through these emotions can be very helpful.
Camila Legaspi was in high school when she lost her mother to breast cancer and she says in an earlier interview how therapy helped her immensely during that time. “Therapy saved my life,” she says, “I was dealing with some really intense anxiety and depression at that point. It just changed my life, because I was so drained by all the negativity that was going on.”
“Going to a therapist helped me realize that there was still so much out there for me, that I still had my family, that I still had my siblings. The reality is, is when you lose someone, it’s really, really, really hard. And it’s totally OK to talk to someone. And I’m so happy that I talked to my therapist. Keep your chin up, and it’s going to be OK. No matter what happens, it’s going to be OK.”