Hoda Kotb received a special birthday surprise while she was celebrating her 51st birthday early with her family.
While the Today show host won’t actually turn 51 until Sunday, she took a trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, over the weekend with her mother, brother, nieces, boyfriend (Joel Schiffman), and dog Blake for a little early celebration.
While visiting the town, where she also received a lot of love from the community, they took the opportunity to stop at The Coffee Mill, where the staff surprised the Dateline correspondent with a very large birthday cake.
The restaurant’s owner, Mel Damascena, spoke to E! News in an exclusive interview, recalling when he met Hoda and how good of friends they had become.
“She was very surprised and happy,” Damascena said. “She’s a great friend and a regular customer. I met Hodie and her mother in 2010 and we became really good friends.”
“She usually comes in the morning after her run at the Boardwalk and hangs out with her family. She is just this beautiful, smart, cool and grounded lady that makes other people happy. We all love Hodie.”
Hoda later took to Twitter to share the festivities of the day, alongside a picture of her birthday surprise.
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) August 1, 2015
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Hoda will be releasing her third inspirational book, Where They Belong: The Best Decisions People Almost Never Make, in January, 2016. The book comes six years after Hoda released her first book, How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee, and nine years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Hoda was first diagnosed with breast cancer in February, 2007, after doctors discovered lumps in her breast during a routine exam, according to Cancer Connect. She later had a mastectomy with flap resection, but opted out of having chemotherapy because the cancer had not yet spread to her lymph nodes. Rather, she decided to take the common breast cancer treatment, five years of tamoxifen.
With the support of her family, Hoda was able to battle her diagnosis and move on with her life.
“My sister, Hala, was a lifesaver. She came on the day I was diagnosed and didn’t leave,” she said. “My mom was unbelievable,” she added, and “I have friends that make me feel like the luckiest person on earth. I really have people who stand by me and were there all the way.”
[Photo via Twitter]