Maria Menounos deems benign brain tumor 'a gift' on 'Today'

Erin Jensen
Maria Menounos arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Captain America: Civil War' on April 12, 2016.

Can a brain tumor be a "gift?"

For Maria Menounos, her tumor was a wake-up call, the former host of E! News tells NBC's Megyn Kelly in an interview that aired on the Today show Friday.

"I think that this was a gift because I needed to change my life," Menounos shared. "I needed to change the way I did everything."

This month, Menounos graced the cover of People magazine sharing the plight of her benign meningioma brain tumor. The 39-year-old had surgery to remove the tumor her birthday in June.

Suffering from dizziness, headaches and slurred speech, Menounos said she realized her symptoms seemed in line with those of her mother, who was diagnosed with Stage IV brain cancer.

"At that point when I said all those things out loud to (the doctor), the symptoms mirrored what my mom had," she shared, "and I realized it in that moment."

After receiving the diagnosis, Menounos said she began "kind of chuckling," explaining "at that point, it's like, 'This is a joke.' How does this happen?"

Kelly said Menounos mother has glioblastoma, the same kind of "aggressive" brain cancer that Mayo Clinic doctors diagnosed Sen. John McCain with.

After news broke about Senator McCain's health condition, Menounos tweeted her support for the family Wednesday. 

"Thought & prayers go out to @SenJohnMcCain & his family at this time," she wrote. "@MeghanMcCain if u need me I'm here:)"

Kelly's full interview with Menounos airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.