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Maria Menounos' mother dies of brain cancer: 'Christ is risen, mom'

In December 2020, Menounos shared that her mother's brain tumor was growing back.
/ Source: TODAY

Maria Menounos is mourning the loss of her mother, Litsa Menounos, who died on Sunday after a long battle with stage 4 brain cancer.

"RIP mom. 💔 god loved her so much he took her on greek easter," the former TODAY contributor and television personality wrote on Instagram, paired with a black-and-white photo showing their final moments together.

She ended her caption with a few words in Greek, that when translated to English read, "Christ is risen, mom."

In December 2020, Menounos, 42, shared on an episode of her podcast, "Better Together with Maria Menounos," that her mother's brain tumor was growing back, prompting her to fly to Los Angeles to be with her parents. A few days later, both her parents also tested positive for COVID-19.

In 2017, as Menounos was taking care of her mother who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2016 at the age of 61, she began noticing her own troubling symptoms. An MRI revealed a golf-ball size tumor pressing on her trigeminal nerve, which provides sensation to the face and controls some of its muscles. Menounos underwent an almost eight-hour surgery to have the benign meningioma removed on June 8, 2017 — her 39th birthday.

"One of the messages I always try to leave people with is: You can come out of this OK," she told TODAY one year after her surgery. "There is hope. I like to be a walking example of going through something like this with positivity and humor and knowing that when you do, it lessens a lot of the pain. Hope is so important."

Maria Menounos and Steve Harvey Live from Times Square
Maria Menounos and her parents Litsa Menounos and Constantinos Menounos in 2017.Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for MM

On Sunday, celebs and fans took to the comments section of her heartbreaking announcement with words of love and of course, hope.

"RuPaul's Drag Race" judge Ross Mathews, who lost his mother last year, wrote: "Maria, there are no words. Only love. To you and your entire family. I’m so sorry and I am here if you need anything. All my love."

Actor Zoe Saldana wrote, "We send you so much love. Our deepest condolences Maria."

Former E! News host Catt Sadler commented, "I know one thing for certain — your mother knew the most extraordinary love there ever was to know because of you. Your devotion to her was unparalleled. She’s with other angels now."