Talk show host Montel Williams is dealing with the medical diagnosis of his 24-year-old daughter, Maressa, who has stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph tissue.
Williams, who has been battling multiple sclerosis since 1999 himself, is overwhelmed by his daughter’s medical analysis.
“I just thought, I have already paid the price in this department. So why her?” Williams told the new issue of Closer Weekly.
The veteran TV talent is putting his own health struggles aside so that he can focus on helping his daughter beat cancer.
“We need to hit the ground running and get this done and get rid of it,” Williams emphasized to the mag. “I could wallow in a hole, but I won’t let myself go there.”
Maressa, a nursing student and amateur body builder, found out about her diagnosis this past Labor Day weekend after struggling with what she thought was a slipped disk in her back.
“I felt like I was in a dream,” she told the magazine. “I was worried I was going to hear I was going to die or have only six months to live.”
Maressa’s medical prognosis is apparently encouraging—Hodgkin lymphoma has a 10-year survival rate of 90 percent—but the road to recovery is just beginning as she faces a grueling fight over the next four to six months of chemotherapy every two weeks.
She and her father plan to stay positive throughout the battle. “I will finish nursing school,” Maressa declared to Closer. “I will still compete [in body building] — I plan on beating my cancer and getting my pro card in the same year!”
The 57-year-old host said nothing would thrill him more than for his daughter to have overcome cancer so that she can live her best life.
“She is only 24 years old,” Williams said. “So let’s get busy, and let’s get living!”
The Baltimore-bred talent said helping his daughter deal with her cancer battle made him return to therapy.
“I have not been to therapy in seven years,” he admitted to Closer. “As of last week, I went back. And when I walked in I said, ‘I don’t want your opinion. All I want to do is scream.’”