The 19-year-old was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor, in October 2023 during her freshman year at USC.
The teenage daughter of former NFL player and TV personality Michael Strahan has opened up about her shocking cancer diagnosis.
Emergency Surgery to Remove Tumor
Isabella Strahan, 19, revealed on Thursday’s Good Morning America that she is battling a malignant brain tumor known as medulloblastoma. According to Mayo Clinic, medulloblastoma is a cancerous, fast-growing tumor that develops in the lower back part of the brain.
Isabella shared that she first noticed symptoms like headaches, nausea, and problems walking in early October during her freshman year at the University of Southern California. An MRI revealed a 4-centimeter tumor in the back of Isabella’s brain, larger than a golf ball.
On October 27th, 2023, one day before her 19th birthday, Isabella underwent emergency surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to remove the tumor. Michael Strahan called the surgery a “life-saving procedure.”
Grueling Recovery Process
In the months following her surgery, Isabella has faced a grueling recovery process including re-learning how to walk, rounds of radiation treatment, and soon-to-begin chemotherapy.
“It’s been a long 30 [radiation] sessions, six weeks,” Isabella said. In February, she will start chemotherapy at Duke Children’s Hospital in North Carolina near where her twin sister Sophia attends college.
“I’m ready for it to start and be one day closer to being over,” Isabella said optimistically.
Sharing Her Story to Raise Awareness
While battling brain cancer is incredibly difficult, Isabella hopes sharing her journey publicly can raise awareness and inspire others fighting similar health battles.
She has partnered with Duke Children’s Hospital on a new Youtube series documenting her treatment process. “I don’t want to hide it anymore because it’s hard to always keep it hidden,” she said. “I hope to be a voice and be [someone] who people, maybe [those] going through chemotherapy or radiation can look at.”
Isabella’s father, Michael Strahan, voiced immense pride in his daughter’s strength and positive attitude throughout her cancer journey.
“I literally think that in a lot of 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 are never given more than we can handle.”