A “Dancing With the Stars” alum is speaking out about her recent cancer diagnosis — and shared why she decided to keep it a secret from one person in particular: the surrogate carrying her child.
Season 14’s Maria Menounos opened up to Kit Hoover on Access about being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just after finding out that she was expecting her first child via surrogate.
“The morning after they confirmed it at UCLA with the MRI I was guttural crying,” Menounos recalled. “Keven and I couldn’t get out of bed. And I just kept looking at my mantle… I have all my church icons where I pray, and I was like, ‘how could you finally bless me with a baby and now I’m not going to get to meet her? Like, how is this possible?'” she continued.
“I was walking into an oncologist’s office. And I had to keep it secret,” Menounos said, explaining that she “had to get to the other side first.” The mom-to-be didn’t want any negative energy out there and she didn’t want her surrogate to worry. “She’s carrying my baby,” Menounos said. “I wasn’t going to let her worry whether I was going to be there or not.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Maria Menounos Was Diagnosed With Stage 2 Pancreatic Cancer
Menounos didn’t share her diagnosis with the world until after she went through surgery and was told that she had beat cancer. In early May, People magazine put out an interview, sharing Menounos’ story for the first time.
In January, after suffering with pains in her side and no explanation, Menounos went in for an MRI scan with a company called Prenuvo. It was in that scan that a mass on her pancreas was found. In February, she underwent surgery to “remove the tumor along with part of her pancreas, her spleen, a large fibroid and 17 lymph nodes,” according to People. She did not need any additional treatment.
Menounos considers herself “lucky.”
Menounos has also been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017, Hashimoto’s disease, and Type I diabetes.
Maria Menounos & Keven Undergaro Will Welcome a Baby Girl This Year
Now that Menounos has recovered from her surgery, she is very much looking forward to welcoming her first child.
“We had a lot of plans. We were going to go to Greece in the summer. We’re having to move that up because…We’re having a baby. I had to share it here first,” Menounos said on the February 7, 2023, episode of “Live! With Kelly and Ryan.” Menounos decided to have a surrogate carry her child as she tried for many years to get pregnant and it didn’t happen for her.
On April 24, 2023, Menounos revealed that she’s having a baby girl.
“We are over the moon excited! We are reading baby books, working on the nursery and just overall preparing for this beautiful new addition to our lives. She is already so loved and we cannot wait to meet her,” she captioned an Instagram post.
In her interview with Access, Menounos said she’s “giddy” and “excited” to be starting this new chapter of her life as a mom.