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Michael Strahan reveals daughter Isabella's battle with brain cancer in joint interview: 'It just didn't feel real'

The Good Morning America anchor and his daughter, 19, made the revelation in a conversation with Robin Roberts

Former New York Giants player Michael Strahan speaks during the ceremony to retire his number at half time of the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 28, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
Online News WriterNew York
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Michael Strahan, along with his daughter Isabella Strahan, are opening up about the recent toll on the 19-year-old's health.

At the end of last year, the Good Morning America anchor stepped away from his hosting duties to take care of a personal situation in his family.

Now, in an emotional interview with his ABC colleague Robin Roberts, the former NFL star and his daughter are opening up about her devastating diagnosis: a brain tumor.

WATCH: Michael Strahan's teen daughter introduces new furry family member

Isabella, who started college at University of Southern California in Los Angeles last fall, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in late October, the most common type of cancerous brain tumor in children, which first stems from the lower back part of the brain, the cerebellum.

"I didn't notice anything was off till probably like October 1," the college freshman told Robin, sharing that her first symptoms were simply headaches, though it then evolved into nausea, and she "couldn't walk straight."

Things took a turn for the worse later that month, and she recalled: "I woke up, probably at like, 1 p.m. I dreaded waking up. But I was throwing up blood," and added: "I was like, 'Hm, this probably isn't good.' So I texted [my sister], who then notified the whole family."

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After her father promptly encouraged her to go to the doctor and have a round of tests done, they discovered a fast-growing 4-centimeter tumor – larger than a gold ball – in the back of her head.

MORE: Michael Strahan shares cryptic message about being his 'own worst enemy' after GMA hiatus

MORE: Michael Strahan shares rare look inside LA home as he reunites with daughter

Michael then confessed to Robin: "I don't really remember much," adding: "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."

Michael Strahan with daughter Isabella Strahan at USC game© Instagram
Michael with daughter Isabella at a USC game

After doctors suggested it would be a risk for Isabella to fly back home to the East Coast and get operated there, on October 27th, one day before she was set to turn 19, she underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai.

A tough month of recovery followed, including radiation, rehabilitation, and learning to walk again. Yesterday, she finally completed the six week treatment, and now she is headed to Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center in Durham, North Carolina – her twin sister Sophia attends Duke – to start chemotherapy.

Isabella and Sophia Strahan pout for photo© Instagram
Isabella and her twin Sophia started college last fall

While there, she plans on sharing her journey with chemotherapy and recovery, through a YouTube series that will benefit her hospital. She said: "It's been like, two months of keeping it quiet, which is definitely difficult," adding: "I don't wanna hide it anymore 'cause it's hard to always keep [it] in. I hope to just kind of be a voice, and be [someone] who people, maybe [those who] are going through chemotherapy or radiation can look at."

MORE: Michael Strahan makes 'tearful' return to GMA as co-stars address his absence with emotional update

Michael Strahan's twins wished him happy birthday with a fun throwback© Instagram
Michael shares the twins with ex-wife Jean Muggli

Michael also said: "I literally think that in a lot of ways, I'm the luckiest man in the world because I've got an amazing daughter," maintaining: "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."

Per the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, approximately 500 children a year are diagnosed with medulloblastoma, and Michael noted: "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."

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