On Tuesday, the sportscaster, 38, revealed to Sports Illustrated’s The MMQB that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and underwent a successful surgery to remove all traces of the disease. After learning the news, Andrews’ very own coworkers are sharing their fondness for the DWTS commentator.
“One of the true gifts of my career has been my friendship with Erin,” Tom Bergeron says in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE . “She has an enormous heart, a spine of steel and a wicked sense of humor. I adore her.”
Andrews learned she had cervical cancer in September, shortly after settling her $55 million lawsuit against the Nashville Marriott, where a stranger secretly filmed her in the nude. She says getting through the lawsuit toughened her up for her cancer diagnosis.
“I know Erin is a strong person and I’m happy that she keeps overcoming these incredibly difficult obstacles with a smile on her face,” Andrews’ former DWTS pro partner Maks Chmerkovskiy says in a statement to PEOPLE.
“I know how much cancer sucks and how tough it is to get through!” Witney Carson, who tested positive for melanoma in 2013, tells PEOPLE. “But Erin is a rock star and I love her. My prayers and thoughts are with her.”
Andrews also received a handful of positive well wishes from her DWTS family via social media.
Andrews, who kept her cancer a secret from her DWTS costars, didn’t stop doing her job, regardless of the procedures she was having done.
“She’s always the first one to make a joke,” says one longtime associate of the ABC show. “She doesn’t show that things bother her, so you would never guess that she was going through something so awful as cancer.”
“She never discussed it,” added another source.
Andrews is expected to return as a co-host on DWTS when the show’s 24th season kicks off March 20.