Maia Shibutani is opening up about her health, revealing that she underwent surgery this weekend to remove a tumor that doctors are still testing to determine whether it is malignant or benign.
In a surprise to parts of the figure skating community, the 25-year-old U.S. Olympian shared a candid Instagram post on Monday, explaining that an abnormality was found in her stomach during an emergency room visit in October for a stomach virus.
“It’s been a really tough week,” Maia wrote in the post, alongside a photo of her lying in her hospital bed.
“Back in October, I got sick and had to go to the ER while I was in New York. It ended up being a stomach virus, but they ran some tests that showed an abnormality – it was recommended that I have a follow-up appointment to take a closer look,” she wrote. “After an MRI earlier this week in LA, I was told that I had a small mass on one of my kidneys.”
Maia had a successful surgery to remove the tumor on Saturday, she said, and “was able to keep the rest of my kidney.” She added that her doctor told her there was a “60/40 chance that the tumor was malignant versus benign.”
While Maia said the news “has been incredibly shocking and difficult to handle,” she also revealed she feels gratitude that the mass was caught early.
“I’ve been so scared, but I have had the full support of my family, doctors, and nurses,” she wrote, later adding, “I am young, healthy, and feel fortunate that this was detected so early.”
The two-time Olympian added that she was sharing the “deeply personal news” to avoid the spread of rumors.
“I am going to try and stay positive and focus on my recovery,” she concluded the lengthy post. “I appreciate all of the support and good vibes sent my way. My fingers are crossed, too. ❤️”
Maia and big brother Alex Shibutani are skating partners, and are fondly known as the “Shib Sibs.” The sister-brother duo took home a bronze medal in 2018’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, and helped Team USA clinch the third-medal spot with a paired free dance.
Alex, 28, commented on his sister’s post with a string of red heart emojis — just one of several well wishes left on the post.
“Sending positivity and good vibes your way. Glad the surgery was a success! Thinking about you and @alexshibutani and the whole Shib clan. Praying for good news! 🙏🏼,” wrote Outfitgrid founder Dennis Todisco.
Echosmith singer Sydney Sierota added, “Oh my gosh Maia!!!! I am praying for you and for good news ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ love you girl,” while actor and musician Matt Bennett wrote, “Thinking of you. Get well soon :(“