Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan’s daughter Isabella is undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a common malignant tumor that arises in the cerebellum, a part of the brain located at the base of the skull.
The father and daughter shared the health news in a segment that aired on GMA Thursday morning. Isabella learned received her diagnosis in late October 2023, and underwent emergency surgery at Cedars-Sinai to remove the mass on Oct. 27, a day before her 19th birthday. Isabella said during an interview with GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts she will start chemotherapy at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center in Durham, North Carolina, next month, sharing: “I’m feeling good. Not too bad. 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.”
Michael, 52, said in the interview: “I literally think that, in a lot of ways, I’m the luckiest man in the world, because I’ve got an amazing daughter. 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 began experiencing symptoms of her brain tumor while beginning her freshman year at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After originally shrugging it off as vertigo, her condition took a turn for the worse on Oct. 25, and Michael said: “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 she headed to Cedars-Sinai for a full MRI, doctors discovered Isabella had developed a fast-growing tumor in the back of her brain, measuring 4 centimeters.
The father of four (who shares Tanita, 32, and Michael Jr., 29, with his first wife Wanda Hutchins; and twins Isabella and Sophia with his second wife, Jean Muggli) took off from GMA to be by his daughter’s side, with ABC saying at the time Strahan was “dealing with some personal family matters.”
Following her surgery, Isabella underwent several rounds of radiation treatment, as well as a month of rehabilitation. She now plans on documenting her journey in a new YouTube series to benefit Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center. Isabella said on GMA: “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. I hope to just kind of be a voice, and be [someone] who maybe [those who] are going through chemotherapy or radiation can look at. Perspective is a big thing. I’m grateful. I am grateful just to walk or see friends or do something, ’cause when you can’t do something, it really impacts you.”
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