Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Iyanla Vanzant Opens Up About Losing Daughter to Rare Colon Cancer

Iyanla Vanzant

*Iyanla Vanzant is opening up about the pain of losing her daughter and how the experience motivated her to help others.

Speaking with Hoda Kotb on her “Making Spacepodcast, Vanzant recalled the loss of her daughter Gemmia from a rare form of colon cancer on Christmas Day in 2003.

“Well, it changes who you are as a woman. It changed who I was as a woman, first for the worse, and then for the better,” the spiritual healer said.

“God must’ve really, really trusted me to give me a soul to bring into life and to trust me with the courage to send her out,” Vanzant added.

READ MORE: Iyanla Vanzant Recalls Complicated Relationship with Daughter Was Similar to First Guest on ‘Fix My Life’ [VIDEO]

She credits the experience and her childhood abuse with motivating her to help others in need of healing from trauma. 

“In relationships, people don’t bring you love or give you love. What they do is make you aware of the depth of love that you are,” Vanzant said. “I would say that the purpose of my life required that I had a depth of experience that would allow me to speak to people in the depths of their pain, in the depths of their sorrow.”

Vanzant announced in October that season 7 of her long-running series “Fix My Life” would be the last. During an interview with Danielle Young, Vanzant explained her decision to quit her long-running life-coaching series.

“I’m a teacher. That’s what I am. I’m an educator. I just happen to be a spiritual technician. I teach about spiritual technology and that’s what I’ve always done. That’s what I want to do. But I want to do it in a more intimate way. I want to do it where people come to me because they want to learn not because they don’t have a date on Saturday. And I want to do it where people aren’t scrutinizing my hair and my nails,” she said, per

Vanzant added: “One thing that eight years of ‘Fix My Life’ has taught me is how mean and nasty and unkind people can be. I don’t want that energy in my life anymore. I don’t want people calling me names and talking about me. I’m just very sensitive to energy. I don’t deserve it and I don’t want it. So now, if you want a piece of me, you’ve got to come to me and you got to pay for it.”

Now, with her show behind her, Vanzant explained to Kotb how easy it was for her to walk away from her show.

“They say God never gives it to you all at once. He throws a pebble, and then she throws the rock,” she said. “So when Spirit said to me, ‘It’s done,’ I’m like, ‘OK, I’m out.’”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.



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