Matt Lauer & Al Roker Rebuild Friendship After Cancer Diagnosis: 'Life Is Short'
A fresh start! Al Roker is expressing gratitude for everyone that has supported him following his cancer diagnosis, including Matt Lauer, who reached out to Roker as soon as the news was made public.
"It is impossible to overstate how close friends Al and Matt were. They were friends for 30 years, and it was the most genuine relationship on the Today show. Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb both moved on very quickly after they announced that Matt had got the ax. But for Al, it was much more complicated, he was devastated by the news about his friend Matt and happy that the two have some sort of relationship again," a source exclusively tells OK!.
FIERCE FIGHTERS — 25 CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE BATTLED BREAST CANCER
"Matt and Al have had limited contact over the past two years. They are both treading carefully and know it wouldn’t be a good idea for either of them to be seen together in public," adds a pal. "Matt is heartbroken about Al’s health news and has made it clear to Al that he is there if he needs him. Matt knows a lot about loss. He lost his entire life a few years ago and knows how precious every day is.
"When people get sick, they rethink life. Al is scared, and life is short. He misses Matt and doesn’t have many real friends. Matt has been there for him over the last few days in ways other so-called TV friends haven’t."
On Friday, November 6, Roker, 66, announced that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and will be undergoing surgery to have his prostate removed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
‘TODAY’ CELEBRATES BEST OF BROADWAY—SEE THE STELLAR HALLOWEEN COSTUMES FROM ‘HAMILTON,’ ‘WICKED’ & MORE!
"It’s a good news-bad news kind of thing," the weatherman said. "Good news is we caught it early. Not great news is that it’s a little aggressive, so I’m going to be taking some time off to take care of this.
"We’ll just wait and see, and hopefully in about two weeks, I’ll be back on Today," he said.
Roker got the news after he got his physical. "You hear the word ‘cancer’ and your mind goes, it’s the next level, you know?" he shared.
Roker — who has gotten several surgeries in the past — is optimistic that everything will go seamlessly. "I don’t want people thinking, ‘Oh, poor Al,’ you know, because I’m gonna be OK,” he added. "You know what? If that’s what it takes to get 2020 out, then let’s just get it outta the way. Boom! Let’s just finish it off. I’m ready."
COMING CLEAN! LUCY HALE, BRAD PITT & MORE STARS OPEN UP ABOUT LIVING BOOZE-FREE
For his part, Lauer was fired from the Today show in 2017 for "inappropriate sexual behavior." His divorce from Annette Roque was finalized in 2019, and he has been keeping a low profile ever since.