UNITED STATES—FOX Sports broadcaster, “Dancing with the Stars” host, and former ESPN personality Erin Andrews, 38, disclosed in an interview with Emily Kaplan of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in September 2016.
Following a June checkup, Andrews received the news from her doctor via phone prior to a week 3 game between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. She was informed that she would need to undergo surgery.
MMQB quoted Andrews’ father, Steve, who said, “When you hear the word cancer, you fear the worst. When it’s your child, you think to yourself, you think to God: Take me, not her. She has been through enough. She is just getting her life back.”
MMQB informed readers that Andrews’ first operation was scheduled for October 11 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Before the procedure, she asserted to the medical practitioner, “I’m not watching any football games at home. This is [Fox’s] Super Bowl year, and I’m not missing the Super Bowl.”
She turned to her fiancé, former NHL center Jarret Stoll who, upon hearing her desire to continue working despite her condition, insisted that she focus on “getting better.”
“You wouldn’t miss a game. You’d play through any injury, do whatever it takes to get back out there. That’s going to be me,” said Andrews.
Two days after her operation, Andrews flew from Los Angeles to Green Bay to serve as Fox’s sideline reporter for the Packers vs. Cowboys game.
“Should I have been standing for a full game five days after surgery? Let’s just say the doctor didn’t recommend that. … Sports were my escape. I needed to be with my crew,” she explained to MMQB.
Reporters, including Brianna Hansen of Hello Giggles, provided reason as to why Andrews was reluctant to share her condition with colleagues:
“Andrews works in a male-dominated world. She already stands out as a woman, and has to constantly prove herself time and time again thanks to the microscope her gender puts her under.”
Andrews noted that throughout her career, “all I’ve ever wanted is to just fit in. That I had this extra baggage with the scandal, I didn’t want to be any different. I felt that way about being sick too. I don’t want players or coaches to look at me differently.”
The sports broadcaster underwent a second surgery on November 1, and 16 days later on November 17, doctors called to inform her that she was cancer free.
NY Daily News quoted her father, Steve Andrews, who responded with the following after hearing the news of his daughter’s recovery:
“I gazed out the window and quietly wept … Such an incredible weight had been lifted off her shoulders. I try not to think about what happened to her too much. But when I do, and I consider the enormity of what Erin has endured, I’ll often just sit down and cry.”
Andrews will serve as the principal sideline reporter for Super Bowl LI in Houston, TX when the New York Patriots play against the Atlanta Falcons.