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'Long journey but I made it': Isabella Strahan rings bell after finishing brain cancer treatment

Michael Strahan's 19-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had been receiving chemotherapy for months.
isabella strahan
Posted at 9:07 PM, Jun 17, 2024

Isabella Strahan, the 19-year-old daughter of "Good Morning America" co-host Michael Strahan, has completed her final round of chemotherapy, six months after announcing she was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumor.

She shared the news in a vlog on her YouTube channel, saying it was a "long journey but I made it."

"And now I have to recover and get back to my usual state, which is going to take a long time, but I'm done with treatments," Isabella said.

The video showed hospital staff and loved ones lining the halls to cheer on the milestone, showering Isabella in confetti and singing "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang. Then, wearing a crown, she headed for the bell to carry out the tradition of ringing it at the end of cancer treatment.

"Ring this bell three times well. It's a toll to clearly say my treatment's done, this course is run and I'm on my way!" Isabella read with a smile on her face and bubbles blowing around her before ringing the bell.

Michael Strahan posted the moment on his Instagram, calling his daughter "a SUPERWOMAN!"

"You continue to fight with a smile on your face, strength, and determination. I am one proud Dad!" he wrote.

Isabella was just starting off her first year at the University of Southern California when she noticed "something was off" in early October 2023, she revealed on her dad's show. She began experiencing headaches, nausea and couldn't walk straight, then sought medical attention later that month.

Doctors discovered Isabella had a fast-growing tumor larger than a golf ball developing in the back of her brain, and she was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, which carries the symptoms Isabella was feeling.

The form of cancerous brain tumor develops in the cerebellum, the lower back part of the brain involved in muscle coordination, balance and movement, according to Mayo Clinic. Treatment usually includes surgery, then radiation, chemotherapy or both, the Mayo Clinic says.

Isabella had surgery to remove her tumor on Oct. 27, the day before her 19th birthday, at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai. She then underwent a month of rehabilitation and six weeks of radiation, the teen told "Good Morning America."

Isabella began chemotherapy in February at Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center in Durham, North Carolina, where she just rang the bell.

Although they're rare and can happen at any age, medulloblastomas most often occur in children and are the most common cancerous brain tumor for the age group.

Of the more than 435 patients diagnosed with the tumor each year, more than 70% are pediatric, The Cure Starts Now Cancer Resource Network says. This makes Isabella's case a rarity, with a reported incidence in adulthood being 0.05 cases per 100,000 population, according to the Network.

The group also reports the five-year survival rate is approximately 80%, though the number can vary based on age, spread, recurrence and subtype. Cedars-Sinai says MRI scans are performed multiple times each year to watch for recurrence.