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In an exclusive interview with Closer, Montel Williams, who has faced his own health struggles battling multiple sclerosis since 1999, reveals that his daughter Maressa, 24, has been diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph tissue. “I just thought, I have already paid the price in this department. So why her?” Montel confesses in the new issue.
Now, as he puts his own health struggles aside, he is focused and determined to make sure Maressa beats the cancer. “We need to hit the ground running and get this done and get rid of it,” Montel emphasizes.
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 shares. “I was worried I was going to hear I was going to die or have only six months to live.”
Though Maressa's prognosis is encouraging—Hodgkin lymphoma has a 10-year survival rate of 90 percent—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 is only 24 years old,” Montel says. "So let’s get busy, and let’s get living!”
FOR MORE, PICK UP THE NEW ISSUE OF CLOSER WEEKLY, ON NEWSSTANDS NOW.