Michael Strahan has opened up about his daughter’s battle with cancer.
The NFL star-turned-television host and his 19-year-old daughter Isabella revealed in a Thursday interview with Strahan’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts that Isabella had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
“I literally think that in a lot of ways, I’m the luckiest man in the world because I’ve got an amazing daughter,” Strahan said. “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 said she first noticed something was wrong last fall during her freshman year at the University of Southern California. “That’s when I definitely noticed headaches, nausea, couldn’t walk straight,” she said.
After initially attributing the headaches to vertigo, Isabella’s condition took a turn for the worse in late October.
“I woke up probably at like 1 p.m. I dreaded waking up. But I was throwing up blood,” she recounted. “I was like, ‘Hm, this probably isn’t good.’ So I texted [my sister], who then notified the whole family.”
The family convinced Isabella to seek immediate medical attention.
“Thank goodness for the doctor,” Strahan said. “I feel like this doctor saved her life because she was thorough enough to say, ‘Let’s do the full checkup.'”
After receiving an MRI, Isabella said she got a frightening phone call from the doctor. “She’s like, ‘You need to head to Cedars-Sinai [Medical Center] right now. I’m gonna meet you there.'”
Doctors informed her that she was suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer known as medulloblastoma and had a tumor larger than a golf ball.
According to the Mayo Clinic, medulloblastoma is the most common type of brain tumor in children, with about 500 diagnoses per year.
“But it’s still scary because it’s still so much to go through,” Strahan said. “And the hardest thing to get over is to think that she has to go through this herself.”
Isabella underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumor and completed six weeks of radiation treatment. She will now receive chemotherapy at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center in Durham, North Carolina.
“That’s my next step,” Isabella said of the chemo. “I’m ready for it to start and be one day closer to being over.”
Strahan, meanwhile, said the sudden diagnosis made him see things in a new light.
“You learn that you’re probably not as strong as you thought you were when you have to really think about the real things, and I realized that I need support from everybody,” he explained.
“It’s really made me change my perspective on so many things in my life.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.