“Perspective is a big thing,” Isabella Strahan said
Michael Strahan‘s daughter Isabella Strahan is undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a common malignant brain tumor that arises in the cerebellum, a part of the brain located at the base of the skull.
The college student and her dad opened up about her health news in a segment that aired on Good Morning America Thursday. She learned about her condition in late October, and underwent emergency surgery at Cedars-Sinai to remove the mass on Oct. 27, a day before her 19th birthday.
“I’m feeling good. Not too bad,” said Isabella, who in February will start chemotherapy at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center in Durham, North Carolina. “That’s my next step. I’m ready for it to start and be one day closer to being over. …. I’m very excited for this whole process to wrap. But you just have to keep living every day, I think, through the whole thing.”
“I literally think that in a lot of ways, I’m the luckiest man in the world because I’ve got an amazing daughter,” said Michael, said in an interview with his fellow GMA co-anchor, Robin Roberts. “I know she’s going through it, but I know that we’re never given more than we can handle and that she is going to crush this.”
Isabella is one of Strahan’s four kids. The former NFL star has two older children — Tanita, 32, and Michael Jr., 29 — with his first wife Wanda Hutchins, before welcoming Isabella and her twin sister Sophia with his second wife, Jean Muggli.
In her interview with GMA, Isabella said she first began experiencing symptoms of her brain tumor while beginning her freshman year at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “I didn’t notice anything was off ’til probably like Oct. 1,” she said. “That’s when I definitely noticed headaches, nausea, couldn’t walk straight.”
Shrugging it off originally as vertigo, her condition took a turn for the worse on Oct. 25, when she woke up in the early hours of the morning “throwing up blood.” Her family encouraged her to seek immediate medical attention.
Explained Michael, “That was when we decided, ‘You need to really go get a thorough checkup.’ And thank goodness for the doctor. I feel like this doctor saved her life because she was thorough enough to say, ‘Let’s do the full checkup.’ “
After heading to Cedars-Sinai for a full MRI, doctors discovered she had developed a fast-growing tumor in the back of her brain. It measured at 4-centimeters, larger than a golf ball,
After surgery, Isabella underwent several rounds of radiation treatment, as well as a month of rehabilitation. “I got to ring the bell yesterday,” she told Roberts. “It was great. It was very exciting because it’s been a long 30 sessions, six weeks.”
She plans on documenting her journey in a new YouTube series to benefit Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center.
“It’s been like, two months of keeping it quiet, which is definitely difficult. I don’t wanna hide it anymore ’cause it’s hard to always keep in,” she said to GMA. “I hope to just kind of be a voice, and be [someone] who people, maybe [those who] are going through chemotherapy or radiation can look at.”
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