Ananda Lewis was a fixture on our screens during MTV’s glory days. In the years since we have seen less of her following a surprise health scare.
However, Lewis is fighting back and letting fans know she will not be easily broken. Lewis revealed she was diagnosed with cancer and told she only had two to three years to live.
Ananda Lewis is a Los Angeles native raised between the city of angels and San Diego. After starring in Shai’s video for “Baby I’m Yours,” she began working as a television host and personality. Beginning with BET’s Teen Summit, she eventually graduated to MTV as a VJ. Her hosting gigs included Total Request Live, The Hot Zone and more. Lewis had a reputation to really push people in interviews and inspired MTV to give their VJs more of a platform, thanks to Ananda.
In 1999 the network told The New York Times, “Our talent was sometimes just pretty people who could read cue cards. But when we brought Ananda to MTV, we decided we were going to do a lot more live television.” Lewis became the face of the network for a while until TRL began to faze out. She would eventually score her own talk show series, The Ananda Lewis Show, in the vein of Oprah Winfrey. While the show had promise, Ananda debuted the day before the World Trade Center bombings, causing it to get lost in the shuffle and eventually canceled after one season.
Recent years have seen Ananda resurface as part of TLC’s While You Were Out in 2019. October of 2020, Lewis revealed that she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and had been battling the disease for almost two years at the time. Following Ananda revealing her diagnosis, the follower VJ sat down with Tamron Hall to discuss her health struggles and how doctors did not think she would make it. Hall credited Lewis and her talk show for inspiring her almost two decades ago. “Before I ever even thought about having my own show, Ananda Lewis had broke the barrier with her own nationally syndicated talk show.” She commended the mother of one on her multiple NAACP Awards and her fight to stay alive for herself and her 11 godchildren.
Ananda admitted that when she shared her diagnosis, she really did it for every one of her followers that might have been struggling through the fight with cancer. She felt it was her responsibility to let people know coming up behind her what kind of obstacles could await them. Ananda says that watching her own mother battle cancer helped prepare her for what her journey would look like.
Lewis says that doctors only gave her three years to live, but she is currently in her fourth year since then and still thriving. Declaring that no doctor would tell her how long she was going to live, Lewis is a health enthusiast now and recently underwent some major weight loss while trying to shift to a healthier lifestyle. Prior to her diagnosis, Lewis was overweight, and credits her diagnosis for pushing her to lose weight.