CNN's Kasie Hunt Says She's 'Completely Healthy' 1 Year Since Brain Surgery: 'I Have Learned So Much'

Kelsie Hunt gives health update
Kelsie Hunt gives health update

getty; twitter

Kasie Hunt is marking one year since having surgery to remove a brain tumor.

The CNN anchor and chief national affairs analyst, 37, revealed to PEOPLE last October that she underwent a four-hour operation that month to remove a benign brain tumor. Hunt became aware of her diagnosis around the same time she began her role at CNN in August 2021.

On Tuesday, Hunt posted a lengthy message via Twitter in which she looked back on her health journey, writing, "Today I am humbled to be able to say I am completely healthy and can physically live my life as though it never happened."

She expressed, however, that her journey to get to that point was one she never imagined. "I had [spent] weeks planning what life would look like for my loved ones — my then 2-year-old son — without me in it," Hunt wrote.

"It's not an experience I would wish on anyone. But I have to tell you — I am so grateful now to understand the things I was forced to grapple with because of the tumor growing in my head," she added alongside a photo of her reading to her son Mars Hunt, now 3.

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Shortly after her recovery, Hunt began work on her CNN+ talk show, The Source with Kasie Hunt, which she announced in April was ending its run.

She added in her Twitter message: "Most people aren't forced to grapple with the real possibility they'll be gone when they are still otherwise young and healthy — when they still have most of their expected lives left to live."

Hunt continued, "There's a huge difference between intellectually *knowing* your life is fragile and could change in an instant — and actually facing it, sitting with it, and deeply understanding, through that experience, what it is that actually matters to you."

She said that when she's been asked to do advocacy work for brain cancer and tumors, "I always feel I have to explain I didn't go through what others did — only to be told, well, there are so few brain tumor survivors, we need your voice."

"The things I learned that my heart can no longer forget are the things so many of us know but often fail to act on in a focused, daily way: The people we love and the health of our bodies matters more than anything else ever can or will," she wrote, adding that "what will matter are the people you will no longer be able to know or matter to."

Hunt said she thought about the future of her son and whether or not she could give him a sibling as well as the well-being of her husband Matthew Mario Rivera and her parents.

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"It's those things — showing up, every day, in big but mostly in small ways — for the people I love — that I too often sacrificed in my life without even truly grappling with or understanding what I was giving up," she said, in part. "I don't live my life that way any more. I refuse to. And I am just so grateful to God and to everyone in my life who carried me through this trial and brought me to this changed place."

She also honored her doctors and supporters in additional tweets. Hunt shared images with Daniel Yoshor, Chair of Neurosurgery and VP of Health System at Penn Medicine, expressing that she owes him and others "all a debt of gratitude."

Hunt added that, because of her experience, she is empathetic towards people facing health challenges, chronic pain, illness, and aging.

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"I would never wish what I went through on anyone. But I'm sharing this today in hopes that maybe someone out there will see it and maybe it will change how they see the world just a little bit. That they can learn something without having to face anything like this," she concluded her message.

"I wish I had lived this way every day without having to go through this. But I am so grateful to be here, now, with most of my life still ahead of me, understanding something most people don't have the chance to see until it is too late."

Last year, amid her recovery, Hunt told PEOPLE she felt "touched by grace, and so enormously surrounded and loved by a community that's lifted me up in every way, medically, physically, emotionally, spiritually."