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"Today" presenter Petra Gerster After giving birth to her children, she became seriously ill

Today you are a fit, vital woman. But it wasn't always like that. Are you happy for the life you've been given?

What do you think - of course! I am happy every day that I am healthy and I hope it stays that way for the time being.

Tumor shock at the ZDF presenter

A giant cell tumor was discovered in Petra Gerster at the age of 30. The tumor had damaged one of her thoracic vertebrae, protruding into the spinal canal. One or two millimeters further and she would have been paraplegic. The operation was successful, but nine years later the tumor came back in the same place. At the time she was the mother of two children, ages one and four.

They also say that cancer came a second time - what do you think as a mother when you have two small children at home and you are afraid that you might not see them grow up?

It wasn't cancer, but a rapidly growing giant cell tumor that attacked the thoracic vertebrae. Somehow, after the birth, I had suspected that he would be back. When that actually happened, we were so busy organizing our lives - I went back to the Cologne University Clinic to see my trusted surgeon, my husband stayed in Munich with the small children, but he regularly commuted to Cologne to be scared there was no time. I trusted the doctors and luckily I was right. Since then I have had two steel plates in my back, but no more problems.

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That is Petra Gerster's marriage secret

You met your husband through a newspaper advertisement. Can you still imagine this species today?

No, today there are completely different options with social media. Newspaper advertisements are only studied by people who cannot use the Internet ...

What is special about your marriage, which has been so happy for so long?

"Your husband," says my husband. Because he's so peaceful. Good point. But another secret of our marriage is that the conversation between us never stops.

You say your parents always wanted their children to have a down-to-earth job. What are you like as a mother?

Neither my parents nor I attached great importance to being down-to-earth. It was just always: Study what you enjoy and do it so that you never have to make yourself dependent on a man. With our daughter Livia (30) that was a matter of course. We liked the fact that she chose the exotic subject of Arabic studies. Later she followed in our footsteps and became the political editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Son Moritz (27) is doing a doctorate in physics.