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May 14th, 2013
10:35 PM ET

CNN anchor opens up about her cancer

CNN's Zoraida Sambolin, inspired by Angelina Jolie's announcement, talks with Anderson Cooper about her breast cancer diagnosis and plan to have a double mastectomy. The co-anchor of CNN's "Early Start" felt empowered to share her story with viewers the morning Jolie's op-ed was published in the New York Times.

Until Tuesday she wasn't sure how or if she would publicly talk about her private battle to beat cancer. Sambolin says Jolie "gave me a voice, and she gave me an opportunity that I wouldn't have had otherwise to actually begin this dialogue."

Talking with her fiancé and kids was not easy, but Sambolin was grateful for how they each responded. "I think at the end of the day, what it's going to do is bring us closer together," she says.

Her fiancé cleared his busy travel schedule to be with her, and he researched her treatment and how he could best help. When she told her 14-year-old son about the diagnosis, he said he thinks of the disease as a fight. Sambolin has talked a lot with him about what's going to happen next so she can win that fight.

Sambolin struggled most with how to tell her daughter. "She identifies with me and I am her role model and her example, and so I thought she's instantly going to think 'This is going to be me.'"

When they did have that difficult conversation, she reassured her daughter and the 9-year-old was able to accept it and move on. Sambolin calls her reaction "the greatest gift she could have given me."

Read Zoraida Sambolin's CNN op-ed for more on her decision to have a double mastectomy.

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Filed under: Cancer • Medical News
soundoff (One Response)
  1. stefan

    by cutting off your breast or having your ovaries removed due to the possibility of having cancer is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard of. first off you can still get those cancers after the removal, 2nd i do not want to pay for medical bills (through taxes) for a surgery that is not necessary other people in urgent need of that money are much more important. stop being selfish and wait your turn.

    May 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm |