Maria Menounos Leaving E! News After Brain Tumor Diagnosis: 'I'm Gonna Take Some Time and See What's Next'
During a seven-hour surgery in June, doctors were able to remove 99.9% of the benign brain tumor.
This article originally appeared on People.com.
“My deal ends this August and after that I’m gonna take some time and focus on some passion projects and see what’s next,” the 39-year-old tells PEOPLE. “I’m not rushing into anything.”
The Sirius XM radio host had been with the company for three years after first joining the E! News team in 2014. In a statement, E! officials thanked Menounos for her “many contributions” over the years.
“Our thoughts and support go out to Maria and her family and we wish them all the best knowing that Maria will tackled this with the same fierce dedication she is known for,” they said in their statement.
The news comes just weeks after Menounos underwent a complex, seven-hour surgery, in which doctors were able to remove 99.9 percent of a benign brain tumor.
“[The doctor] said there’s a six to seven percent chance that we’ll see it come back,” she tells PEOPLE in the magazine’s exclusive new cover story. “But I’ll take those odds any day.”
For much more from Menounos, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE and watch her emotional interview in PEOPLE Cover Story: Maria Menounos on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to People.com/PEN or download the PEN app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.
She first began recognizing troubling symptoms in February –“I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches,” she says. “My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter.”
She soon learned that the meningioma brain tumor had been pushing on her facial nerves.
“I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” she recalls of hearing the news. “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?”
She remained at the hospital for six days after the June 8 surgery before returning home to heal alongside her mother, Litsa,who has stage 4 brain cancer.
“I don’t have my balance fully yet but as long as I’m holding on to Keven, I’m sturdy and fine,” Menounos says. “My face is still numb. This is something that takes at least a month of healing, but I’m getting stronger and stronger every day and I’ll be back to normal very soon.”