Chance Airline Encounter Frees TODAY Show Co-Host to Talk About Her Cancer

Chance Airline Encounter Frees TODAY Show Co-Host to Talk About Her Cancer

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Hoda Kotb inspiredby-TODAYAs part of a special week of stories about who most inspired them, TODAY show co-host Hoda Kotb credits a stranger on an airplane for encouraging her to stop hiding her breast cancer journey.

“I decided to pick people who any one of us could have met, but if you turned right instead of turning left, you would have missed them,’’ Hoda said. “After a chance meeting, I truly hit the brakes and said, ‘Today is a game-changer in my life.’”

She met Ken Duane on a flight in 2007 while she was in the midst of a fight with breast cancer.

“I was on the plane ride coming home, and all I wanted to do was curl up in a blanket, put my headphones on and just sleep the pain away,’’ she said.

But she relented to his friendly gestures of conversation and revealed her illness.

“He said breast cancer is part of you,’’ Hoda recalled. “He said it’s like going to college or getting married or working at NBC. I will never forget what he said, because it changed the course of my life.”

(WATCH the video below or READ the story from TODAY)

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