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Hoda Kotb recalls two of the most powerful moments she has shared with her mom

The TODAY co-anchor choked up as she shared a tribute to Sameha Kotb.
/ Source: TODAY

Hoda Kotb wasn’t sure if she would ever become a mom.

“I have been through an illness, and the idea of getting to a point of having my own children was not even imaginable to me,” Hoda said on TODAY on May 10.

Hoda, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, recalled how her mother, Sameha Kotb, was the one of the last people she saw before being wheeled into surgery for a double mastectomy.

“I remember the doctor looked at my mom, who was terrified, and she said, ‘Miss Kotb, I’m gonna take care of your little girl and bring her home,’” Hoda shared. 

The surgeon made good on her promise, and Hoda is now mom of daughters, Haley, 6, and Hope, 4.

“I remember when I placed Haley in my mom’s arms, and I thought to myself, who would have ever thought that could happen?” The TODAY co-anchor said, through tears. “From that moment there in the hospital to this moment, watching my mom hold my children. It’s like, God is good.”

Sameha is known to Haley and Hope as Tata, the informal word for grandma in Lebanese Arabic.

“She loves her grandkids and they love her beyond,” Hoda gushed.

During the segment, Hoda also spoke about Sameha’s optimism, which it’s safe to say Hoda has inherited.

“She falls in love over and over and over again with people, with places, with a new dish,” Hoda said. “She wakes up happy. I don’t care if there’s a hurricane approaching. She’ll look outside and go, ‘Maybe not this moment, but it will be nice in about an hour.’”

Hoda and Sameha have a shared understanding of what it’s like to have a sick child. Earlier this year, Hope was hospitalized with health complications, and spent time in the intensive care unit (ICU). She has since been discharged.

“I feel blessed and grateful: really, really, really grateful,” Hoda said on TODAY in March. “And, also, anyone who’s ever gone through an illness with a child, boy, I thought I understood you, but I didn’t, until you’re sitting in that position.”