The Good Morning America Star Is A Two
The TV anchor has an idyllic life with her partner Amber Laign, and has shown incredible bravery over the years, having survived cancer twice.
Throughout her battle, Robin has used her platform to help raise awareness, and behind-the-scenes, her partner of 15 years has been her rock.
VIDEO: GMA’s Robin Roberts and partner Amber Laign enjoy snow day in their garden
In 2007, Robin was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation therapy, bravely returning to work only a couple of weeks after an operation.
In a recent interview on The Dr. Oz Show, Robin discussed the experience. “My mother always said, ‘Make your mess your message’,” she said.
GMA’s Robin Roberts is a two-times cancer survivor
“And when I was diagnosed with cancer, I was like, ‘What’s the message?’ It was about early detection I was triple-negative, but because I had, through self-detection found the lump, I just told people that early detection is not a guarantee but it increases your chances.”
Five years later, the 59-year-old faced a second diagnosis for MSA bone marrow disorder myelodysplastic syndrome which is caused when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow become abnormal.
The GMA star told Dr. Oz that once again, she listened to her mum’s words during her terrifying ordeal.
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Robin Roberts Exited Good Morning America Twice For Medical Reasons
In 2007, Robin Roberts appeared on “Good Morning America” to deliver some devastating news to viewers: She would be taking a break from the show to undergo treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She returned a few weeks later, and was eventually declared cancer free.
Five years later, in 2012, she took another break from the show after revealing she had been diagnosed with leukemia, specifically myelodisplastic syndrome. Roberts once again took a leave of absence from the show, this time to receive a bone-marrow transplant. Her sister, broadcaster Sally-Ann Roberts, was the donor. Roberts was sidelined for significantly longer than she was back in 2007, off the air for nearly six months before returning to the show in February 2013. “I have been waiting 174 days to say this,” she told viewers in her first moments back on the air. “Good morning, America.”
In a 2018 interview with Parade, Roberts admitted that “cancer wasn’t the best thing that happened to me, but fighting off two life-threatening illnesses taught me so much about who I am.”
Cancer And Bone Marrow Transplant
In August 2012, Roberts took a leave of absence from Good Morning America in order to undergo treatment for a rare blood disorder that she contracted as a complication of the chemotherapy she received for breast cancer in 2007. Roberts had a bone marrow transplant in September.
On the day she announced on-air that she was sick with myelodysplastic syndrome, the website for Be the Match, a nonprofit organization that keeps a national bone marrow donation registry, experienced an 1,800 percent spike in donors. Roberts herself did not rely on the registry, but rather on her sister, Sally-Ann, who doctors deemed an excellent match. Nonetheless, Roberts advocated for bone marrow donation via Be the Match and encouraged viewers to register.
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Treating The Problem At Its Source
That said, not all people with MDS require treatment, at least in the short term. The course of the disease is different for everyone, so some patients may live years with few symptoms, while others may be in life-threatening danger after just a couple of months.
Roberts appears to fall somewhere in the middle.
They detected it in time, but she had some pre-leukemic cells and was already experiencing some anemia, Besser says. So the advice of experts around the country was that she should be treated.
Treatments vary depending on the type and risk score of an individuals MDS, but options include blood transfusions, newer FDA-approved drugs, chemotherapy, and bone marrow transplantation. In Roberts case, the recommended therapy is a combination of the latter two.
A bone marrow transplant is the only known treatment that can bring about a long-term remission from MDS, according to the National Marrow Donor Program. In the most basic terms, it involves stripping the patients own marrow of defective cells and replacing them with healthy cells from a donor in Roberts case, her sister.
Robin Roberts Is A Longtime Fan Of Country Music
Some of Robin Roberts’ fans may be surprised to learn that she’s long been a fan of country music. In fact, the Mississippi native has been a serious country fan for her whole life, and even received a standing ovation when she presented an award at the 2013 Country Music Awards.
As ABC News revealed, one of her first broadcasting jobs was at a country music station, and Roberts singled out her all-time favorite country song: “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed.” Roberts explained, “I’m a huge Barbara Mandrell fan … title says it all.”
Viewers first got a taste of Roberts’ country music fandom in 2009 when she hosted the ABC primetime special “All Access Nashville.” In it, Roberts sat down with stars like Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn, and Tim McGraw who took her skeet shooting. Since then, Roberts has helmed numerous country music specials for the network, including a 2019 sit-down with the woman who changed country music: the one and only Dolly Parton. Parton, as always, was ready with some one-liners. “I count my blessings more than I count my money,” the singer quipped to Roberts, “but I need to count my money, too.”
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A Lawsuit Put Robin Roberts At Odds With Gma Co
While viewers of “Good Morning America” may perceive Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos to be affable, friendly co-anchors, that hasn’t always been the case. This was particularly true in August 2021 when the two clashed behind the scenes of the morning show over the manner in which ABC brass dealt with allegations of sexual assault that had been leveled against “GMA” executive producer Michael Corn.
As the Daily Beast reported at the time, Kirstyn Crawford then serving as a producer who worked with Stephanopoulos filed a lawsuit claiming that Corn had assaulted her in 2015, and had similarly assaulted former ABC news producer Jill McClain a few years earlier. Crawford’s suit alleged that Stephanopoulos had known about the alleged assault for years while continuing to work with Corn.
Roberts was reportedly furious when she found out. “If this happened to someone on my team, I would have burned the place down,” Roberts reportedly said during a conference call with “GMA” staff which the Daily Beast described as “unsubtly directed at Stephanopoulos.” When Stephanopoulos found out what Roberts had said, he was allegedly “livid.” A network spokesperson, however, denied reports of friction, declaring that “Robin and George are fine.”
Books Awards And Personal
The news anchor has authored multiple books, including From the Heart: 7 Rules to Live By and Everybodys Got Something.
Following her recovery, Roberts was honored at the 2013 ESPYs with the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which was presented by basketball star LeBron James. Additionally, she received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2014 and was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2016.
In early January 2014, Roberts officially came out as a gay woman on Good Morning America. She hadn’t publicly discussed her sexual orientation prior to this announcement. The public also got to see a photo of Roberts’s girlfriend, Amber Laign, on the show, following the news anchor’s revelation.
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Robin Roberts To Undergo Chemotherapy
GMA anchor announces she will continue to work through cancer treatment.
After a successful surgery Aug. 3, Roberts said her doctors determined that chemotherapy will be the most effective form of treatment. That will be followed by radiation treatment, she said.
“Tomorrow I will come in, and then head off for my chemotherapy,” she said.
She expressed her thanks to viewers, co-workers and guests for their incredible outpouring of well-wishes.
Roberts said that many viewers had tips and ideas for dealing with treatment.
“Somebody said eat a lot of bacon before I have chemo,” she said. “I don’t know about that one. That’s a new one.”
Roberts also said she had a great “heart-to-heart” talk about cancer with Tony Snow, who just resigned as the White House press secretary after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
“I’ll work as much as I can,” Roberts said. “Part of the reason I am coming forward is in case you tune in and it looks like Kojak is sitting next to Diane, you’ll understand why.”
Balancing Work and Treatment
Some questioned when Roberts would return to work after having her surgery in August, but her doctor and others she met through e-mails said getting back to work would be the best medicine.
Roberts returned to work Monday, Aug. 13, but she is just one of many women fighting cancer and trying to maintain a normal life.
How soon can women get back to work after treatment?
Not all chemo regimens cause women to lose their hair.
What about the effects of radiation?
Joan Lunden Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Lunden returned to “GMA” with the announcement.
Joan Lunden Shares Breast Cancer Diagnosis
I heard those words that every woman fears and never wants to hear, You have breast cancer, Lunden, 63, told Robin Roberts, also a breast cancer survivor.
Lunden revealed the breast cancer was found not in her annual mammogram but in a follow-up ultrasound routinely done in addition to the mammogram because Lunden has dense fibrous tissue.
Nothing showed in my mammogram and you come out of there like, Yes, one more year. Im okay, said Lunden, a mother of seven. And then you go all happy-go-lucky into the ultrasound and she kept going back to one spot.
Lunden underwent a core biopsy that found what she described as an aggressive kind of cancer that will require her to undergo chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, though she is expected to make a full recovery.
Ive got that journey ahead, she said. Ive already started it. Im already doing my chemo.
Lunden, who co-hosted GMA from 1980 to 1997, went on to have a career as a health advocate and says that her position to reach so many women, combined with the legacy of her late father, a cancer surgeon, are what inspired her to come forward with her diagnosis.
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Cancer Helped Robin Roberts Realize She Was ‘tougher’ Than She Once Thought
Undergoing two major health crises would be enough to send anyone into a serious depression spiral, yet Robin Roberts said she emerged stronger and more actualized from the experience. “I have been mulling over how much more I have learned about myself through sorrow than through joy,” she told Parade. “I’m a better, stronger, more complete person because of these trials and tribulations.”
In fact, the lesson she took from her dual health scares has been an overwhelmingly positive one. “I’m stronger than I thought I was,” she declared, noting that the phrase “this too shall pass” had become something of a mantra. “I now understand it really well,” she said of those words.
Roberts also revealed she’s stopped over-scheduling herself now that she’s so much more aware of being present in the here and now. “I don’t want to plan,” she explained. “In a year’s time I want to still be able to say to you, I am in the moment.”
The Untold Truth Of Robin Roberts
Robin Roberts has been a fixture on daytime television since 1995, when she began contributing to ABC’s “Good Morning America.” When she was hired in 2005 as full-time co-anchor, Roberts’ stature as a broadcaster only continued to grow.
Fans of the morning show have been there with her every step of the way, sharing her ups and downs over the decades as she overcame health woes and personal milestones. Guesting on “The View“ in early 2020, Roberts shared her favorite thing about “GMA.” “No two days have been the same,” she marveled. “And to be able to share people’s stories, from all walks of life, that’s just something that never, ever will get old.”
Viewers have been starting their mornings with the “GMA” stalwart for so long they may think they know all about her there is to know, yet there’s much that even her most devoted fans can learn by uncovering the untold truth of Robin Roberts.
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Her Fans And Prayer Warriors
After her transplant, Roberts was off the air for 6 months, returning to a jubilant welcome in February 2013. ”Six months. In morning television, that’s an eternity. And they waited for me,” she says, tears welling up. ”They didn’t forget me, and you don’t take that for granted. There isn’t a day that someone hasn’t said, ‘I prayed for you.’
”When I came back, oh gosh, it was so wonderful. There was a great crowd outside, people with signs, people who called in sick that day and stayed home to watch. And I feel the love.”
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Abc News Journalist Amy Robach Shares Advice For Anyone Facing Cancer
When ABC News journalist Amy Robach agreed to get a live mammogram in front of millions of people on Good Morning America as part of a breast cancer awareness campaign in 2013, she never dreamed that the results would actually come back positive, she told SurvivorNet.
But its important, she said, to realize you are facing a life-changing disease. In this video she gives advice to those with cancer, from why you should let other people help, to taking charge of your life.
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Icipating In A Clinical Trial
Ms. Roberts thanked Dr. Giralt, who appeared on the program with her, for giving her the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial investigating better ways to prevent graft-versus-host disease, a complication of transplantation in which the donor cells recognize the recipients cells as foreign and attack them.
Dr. Giralt expressed his appreciation for her participation in the trial. The standard treatments of today are developing because patients before you participated in clinical trials, and in a certain sense its our obligation as physicians and the patients of today to develop the standards of care for the patients of tomorrow, he said.
In addition to thanking Dr. Giralt, Ms. Roberts expressed her gratitude toward the members of her Memorial Sloan Kettering nursing team, who were also present in the studio.
Looking over at the nurses, the technicians the passion and compassion that you have for all of your patients is admirable, she said. And people have given me a standing ovation we need to give these people a standing ovation.
Where Have All The Bone Marrow Donors Gone
Thats especially true for minority groups, which make up less than 30 percent of registered donors, according to data from the National Marrow Donor Program.
One of the things Robin is encouraging people to do is to go to bethematch.org and sign up to be a donor, Besser says. The African-American community, in particular, is very underrepresented. Robin and her sister feel so incredibly blessed that they have this match. Not everyone is that lucky.
In fact, the chance of finding a match on the registry is as low as 66 percent for African-Americans, compared with 93 percent for Caucasians. Experts believe that this is because of a misconception that donating is painful or complicated. It used to be that if you were a bone marrow donor, they had to stick a needle into your bone, but thats not the case anymore, Besser explains. Bone marrow transplants are done through a vein in your arm, much in the way that you would give blood. Its an easy thing to do.
Its less easy, however, for the person getting the donation.
Besser cant say exactly how long that period will be for Roberts, who is scheduled to get her transplant later this summer or sometime this fall, but he estimates itll be a number of months before her bone marrow is fully functioning and shell be strong enough to return to work. Its extremely variable.
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Why Robin Roberts Decided The Time Was Right To Come Out
In 2013, Robin Roberts took to to share a milestone, a hundred days after receiving a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Sharing a message of gratitude, Roberts thanked her doctors, her sister , her family and friends, and “my long time girlfriend, Amber.” With that casual mention, Roberts was officially out of the closet.
The following year, Roberts appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talk show, telling the host who had similarly come out two decades earlier that she decided to first get the go-ahead from her partner, Amber Laign. As Roberts told DeGeneres, she wasn’t trying to make any grand statement, she simply wanted to acknowledge Laign. Pointing out that Laign doesn’t enjoy being in the public eye, Roberts praised her girlfriend for being her rock during her health crises. “She’s very, very supportive and she’s been right there beside me every step of the way,” Roberts shared, explaining that as she was sending out all that gratitude on social media, she also wanted to thank Laign. “And I asked her,” Roberts revealed. “I said, ‘I really want to say thank you.'”