Michael Strahan, Daughter Give Emotional Interview About Brain Tumor Battle
Michael Strahan was part of a very different kind of Good Morning America interview on Thursday when he sat down alongside his 19-year-old daughter Isabella for an emotional chat about the teen’s battle with a brain tumor.
Isabella explained that she first started experiencing excruciating headaches last October, just months into her tenure as a freshman at the University of Southern California. Although they didn’t think much of it at the time, a few weeks later she started throwing up blood.
That was when they decided Isabella needed a thorough check-up. Soon after, Isabella had to be rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where doctors revealed that she had a fast-growing, four-inch brain tumor larger than the size of a golf ball. It’s a type of malignant brain tumor known as medulloblastoma, the most common type of childhood brain tumor according to the Mayo Clinic. About 500 children are diagnosed each year, although the typical patient is 5–9.
“I don’t even remember much, I just remember figuring out how to get to LA ASAP. It just didn’t feel real,” Michael said about first discovering the diagnosis. “[It’s] rarely someone who’s 18, 19 years old. But it’s one that they felt very confident they could treat.”
Isabella had surgery to remove the tumor one day shy of her 19th birthday in an emergency procedure, with doctors opting to perform it there rather than have her return to the East Coast with her family. That was followed by a month of rehab where she had to learn to walk again, followed by multiple rounds of radiation therapy.
“So I just finished radiation therapy, which is proton radiation, and I got to ring the bell yesterday,” she said in the interview. “It was great. It was very exciting because it’s been a long 30 sessions, six weeks.”
Isabella is now starting chemotherapy at Duke Children’s Hospital, where she will document her journey in a YouTube series. Both Strahans said they’re ready for the process to wrap up.
“You think that 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,” Michael said.
You can watch their full interview below.