Michael Strahan's Daughter Reveals Brain Tumor Diagnosis in Emotional 'GMA' Interview

The 'GMA' star's 19-year-old daughter Isabella was diagnosed with medulloblastoma.

Michael Strahan's 19-year-old daughter Isabella is opening up about her recent health journey. Appearing on Good Morning America Thursday morning alongside her father, Isabella told Robin Roberts that she was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, in October and underwent surgery to remove the tumor just a day before her 19th birthday.

Isabella's diagnosis came after she began experiencing headaches and other symptoms shortly after beginning her freshman year at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Isabella told Roberts, "I didn't notice anything was off 'til probably like Oct. 1. That's when I definitely noticed headaches, nausea, couldn't walk straight." Although she initially thought she was suffering from vertigo, her condition took a turn for the worse on Oct. 25 when she "woke up, probably at, like, 1 p.m. I dreaded waking up. But I was throwing up blood. I was like, 'Hm, this probably isn't good.' So I texted [my sister], who then notified the whole family."

"That was when we decided, 'You need to really go get a thorough checkup,'" Michael Strahan recalled. "And thank goodness for the doctor. I feel like this doctor saved her life because she was thorough enough to say, 'Let's do the full checkup.'" He added that his daughter underwent an electrocardiogram, or EKG, and other tests. Since there was not an MRI machine at her doctor's office, Isabella said she underwent an MRI elsewhere, then received a call from her doctor telling her to go to Cedars-SinaiMedical Center immediately. Doctors discovered that she had developed a fast-growing 4-centimeter tumor in the back of her brain.

"It didn't feel real," Strahan recalled of learning his daughter's diagnosis. "I don't really remember much. I just remember trying to figure out how to get to L.A. ASAP. And it just doesn't feel real. It just didn't feel real."

According to Strahan, while medulloblastoma accounts for about 20% of all childhood brain tumors, it rarely affects "someone who's 18, 19 years old. But it's still scary because it's still so much to go through. And the hardest thing to get over is to think that she has to go through this herself." He said doctors told them they "shouldn't risk trying to put her on a plane to get her to the East Coast or to another doctor. We know what it is and we should get it out as soon as possible."

On Oct. 27, just a day before her 19th birthday, Isabella underwent emergency surgery at Cedars-Sinai to remove the tumor. Isabella, who credited her twin sister Sophia with helping her learn to walk again after the procedure, also underwent a month of grueling rehabilitation and several rounds of radiation treatment, revealing to Roberts that she "just finished radiation therapy, which is proton radiation, and I got to ring the bell yesterday. It was great. It was very exciting because it's been a long 30 sessions, six weeks."

Isabella said that she is now "feeling good. Not too bad. And I'm very excited for this whole process to wrap. But you just have to keep living every day, I think, through the whole thing." As for her next step, she and her father shared that in February, she will start chemotherapy at Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center in Durham, North Carolina. Isabella shared that she is "ready for it to start and be one day closer to being over."

Reflecting on his daughter's journey on Instagram, Strahan said, "I love you Isabella and I'm always by your side." He added, "To all sending love, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!"