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Isabella Strahan Reveals Brain Cancer Diagnosis – SheKnows

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Michael Strahan got the news no parent wants to hear last year. His daughter, Isabella Strahan, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma and had a brain tumor removed on Oct. 27, the day before her 19th birthday. After initially keeping the news private, Isabella decided to share her journey in an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, where Michael is a co-anchor.

“I don’t want to hide it anymore, because it’s hard to always keep it in,” Isabella explained on GMA. “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.”

Isabella detailed her story in the interview, explaining that she first realized something was wrong in fall 2023. Then an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Southern California, Isabella began experiencing frequent, painful headaches, nausea, and difficulty walking straight, initially attributing the symptoms to vertigo.

In late October, the symptoms suddenly worsened and Isabella woke up one morning vomiting blood. An MRI eventually showed a four-centimeter tumor in the back of Isabella’s brain, which doctors described as being the larger than a golf ball.

The news came as a shock to Isabella and the rest of the Strahan family. “[She was] 18 years old at the time,” Michael explained. “You’re not thinking this [is possible] … she’s young, she’s strong, she’s healthy.”

Isabella was ultimately diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer responsible for 20 percent of all childhood brain tumors, according to research. While considered rare, medulloblastoma is the most common cancerous brain tumor in children, per Mayo Clinic, though it is more often found in children ages five to nine. The tumor starts in the lower, back part of the brain, called the cerebellum, which is responsible for muscle coordination, balance, and movement.


Following her surgery, Isabella completed a month of rehab, which included learning how to walk again, before undergoing six weeks of radiation. She’ll start chemotherapy in February at Duke, where she will also film a YouTube series to share her story.

“I’m ready for it to start, [for it to be] one day closer to being over,” Isabella told GMA. At the same time, she said, she’s trying to be present and continue with her life as she can — advice she said she got from her twin sister, Sophia. “You just have to keep living every day, I think, through the whole thing.”

“I’m very proud of her,” said Michael, who is also father to Tanita, 32, and Michael Jr., 29, from his first marriage. “She’s always been so strong and this is something that is so personal, that I didn’t know if it would be something that she’d want to share. I’m extremely proud.”

Michael also said that this experience has taught him perspective. “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. “You think, ‘I’m the athlete, the tough guy, you know, I can come and handle, I’m the father in the family.’ It is not about any of that. It doesn’t matter. And it’s really made me change my perspective on so many things in my life.”

“Perspective is a really big thing,” Isabella agreed. “I’m grateful just to walk or see friends because when you can’t do something, it really impacts you. I’m looking forward to getting back to college and moving back to California.”

Part of perspective, Michael added, came back to finding hope amidst the pain and fear. “In a lot ways, I’m the luckiest man in the world, because I’ve got an amazing daughter,” he 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.”

Before you go, read about other stars who have opened up about their health issues:

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