Hoda Kotb was ‘barely functioning’ during divorce, breast cancer journey

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Hoda Kotb was ‘barely functioning’ during divorce, breast cancer journey

Hoda Kotb says battling breast cancer the same year she went through a divorce was one of the “lowest moments” of her life

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Hoda Kotb says battling breast cancer the same year she went through a divorce was one of the “lowest moments” of her life.

“I went through a divorce and breast cancer simultaneously, and I remembered in that time barely functioning, and I was thinking to myself like, ‘Is this it? Is this how it goes?” Kotb said on Thursday’s episode of “Today with Hoda & Jenna.”

Kotb and her co-host, Jenna Bush Hager, were joined by Maria Shriver to discuss women’s health on a special edition titled, “Own Your Health,” when Kotb recalled the difficult time in her life.

“I was thinking about some of my lowest moments during that time what was contributing to all of it was I was in horrible health, and I didn’t care about that piece of it, and you don’t realize how bad it gets and then you’re compounding it, your health gets worse, because you’re not well, and [it] went on and on,” she explained.

“I was thinking to myself like, ‘Is this it? Is this how it goes?’” Kotb asked fellow “Today” hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Maria Shriver.
ABC

The “Today” show anchor, 59, underwent a double mastectomy in 2007 and is now cancer-free.

“You realize when you’re on solid ground again, and you look back, and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh I didn’t take an hour for myself,’ there were all the things I never ever did that I am doing today that make such a difference,” she concluded.


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Around the same time of her cancer diagnosis, Kotb got divorced from her husband of three years, former University of New Orleans tennis coach, Burzis Kanga, in 2008.

Kotb and Kanga did not have any children together, and Kotb’s cancer left her unable to conceive children of her own, so that ultimately led Kotb to adopt her two children.

The broadcaster underwent a double mastectomy in 2007.
NBCUniversal via Getty Images
Kotb got divorced from Burzis Kanga in 2008.
University of New Orleans

“One of the things in my life I’ve always wanted was to be a mom. Sometimes in our life, things just don’t work out for whatever reason, so you say, ‘Well, I wasn’t meant to have that.’ But it was really hard to come to terms with it,” she said in 2017.

In February 2017, Kotb adopted her first child, a girl named Haley Joy. Two years later, she welcomed a second daughter via adoption, Hope Catherine.

“I wake up sometimes and go, ‘Oh my God, I have a baby!’ But it feels totally real,” she said in 2017. “I guess if you’ve been waiting this long for something, and you wish for it, pray for it, hope for it, wonder if it will ever be, and then it happens, nothing’s more real. Nothing.”



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