Michael Strahan’s Daughter Isabella Reflects on the Ups and Downs of Cancer Amid Her Health Battle

Michael Strahan’s Daughter Isabella Reflects on the Ups and Downs of Cancer Amid Her Health Battle
Michael Strahan (C) and his daughters Sophia Strahan (L) and Isabella Strahan arrive at the Kids' Choice Sports Awards at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., on July 11, 2019. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Isabella Strahan, the daughter of former NFL player and television personality Michael Strahan, has been very candid about her journey with medulloblastoma after being diagnosed with the rare form of brain cancer in October 2023.

The 19-year-old has been chronicling her health battle online, recently sharing that she only has two more rounds of chemotherapy to undergo.

“These are happy tears,” Ms. Strahan emotionally described in a video posted to her YouTube channel on April 10.

“My doctor just called me and told me I only have to do two rounds of chemo … and it’s, like, the biggest thing. I’m so happy,” she said.

After starting chemotherapy in February, Ms. Strahan was initially scheduled to undergo six rounds of the treatment after receiving her second round in March, which would have left her little time to recover before her fall semester at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

“I’ll be done in May, and I can kind of try to have this, like, a summer to feel better, and I’m so happy ’cause I thought I would be done at the end of July,” she said.

However, in a video posted on April 12, the college student shared that her remaining chemotherapy rounds had to be pushed out due to a head infection. Reflecting on the ups and downs of cancer treatment, Ms. Strahan said she had recently been hospitalized for a week due to a high fever, later undergoing a third craniotomy to remove excess fluids following her second surgery in March.

“Because I had my third craniotomy, I have to push chemo back a month, so … I only do two more rounds of chemo, but it’s still going to be three months,” she explained.

“So I wasn’t very happy about that,” she continued. “I was like bawling my eyes out ’cause it’s just so disappointing when you’re like, ‘Yes, I can finish by May,’ and then everything changes because of a stupid head infection. So now I’ll be done a little later than I wanted to, but oh well.”

Brain Cancer Battle

Ms. Strahan’s battle with brain cancer began in the fall of 2023 during her freshman year in college. The then 18-year-old recounted her symptoms during a January segment on “Good Morning America,” a talk show co-hosted by her father. The conversation marked the first time Ms. Strahan’s diagnosis was publicly revealed.

“I didn’t realize anything was off ’til probably September. Like October 1, that’s when I definitely noticed headaches, nausea, couldn’t walk straight,” she told the show’s co-host, Robin Roberts, adding she initially thought she was suffering from vertigo.

“Eighteen years old at the time, you’re not thinking this,” said her father. “Maybe it’s vertigo, maybe it’s something else, but she’s young, she’s strong, she’s healthy.”

Ms. Strahan was ultimately diagnosed with medulloblastoma in late October. According to the Boston Children’s Hospital, approximately 350 cases of medulloblastoma are diagnosed yearly. The cancerous tumors typically develop in the lower part of the brain, known as the cerebellum, and most commonly affect children between the ages of 3 and 8. However, medulloblastoma can occur at any age.

Ms. Strahan underwent emergency surgery the day before her 19th birthday to remove the fast-growing brain tumor, which doctors said was “larger than a golf ball.” She then spent a month in recovery before going through several rounds of radiation therapy.

She “rang the bell” in January to signify the completion of proton radiation treatment. This treatment uses a high-energy beam to damage the DNA of tumor cells, inhibiting them from growing further and causing them to shrink, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Health Vlog

In January of this year, Ms. Strahan partnered with Duke Children’s Hospital, where she was receiving treatment, to launch her YouTube series, which she uses to upload videos about her progress. To date, her channel has amassed nearly 40,000 subscribers.

Ms. Strahan told Ms. Roberts that she hopes the platform will help others going through similar health struggles. “It’s been like two months of keeping it quiet, which is definitely difficult,” she explained at the time. “I don’t want to, like, hide it anymore ’cause it’s hard to always keep it in.

“I hope to just kind of be a voice and be a person people, who may be going through chemotherapy or radiation [and] can look at and find something interesting about their day,” she added.

Mr. Strahan shared that he wholeheartedly supported his daughter’s endeavors, saying: “It’s important to let people see that there is hope.

“You have to just go into every day with the best attitude, which is what she does,” he continued.

“I literally think that in a lot of ways … I’m the luckiest man in the world because I got an amazing daughter, and 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.”

From The Epoch Times

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