After battling both breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome — a disease affecting the body's bone marrow — Robin Roberts is looking forward to living life without being plagued by illness.
“I think of September 20, the date of my [bone marrow] transplant, as my birthday more than my real birthday, on November 23," the 'Good Morning America' anchor, 54, revealed in a new interview.
"I don’t try to be like people who have had life-threatening illnesses and say, ‘Every day is a gift.’ But everything that happens from now on is lagniappe, as we say in the Gulf," the Mississippi native added.
(Photo Credit: Jeff Lipsky for 'AARP The Magazine')
Robin was diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer in 2007, which she treated with eight rounds of chemotherapy, more than six week of radiation, a lumpectomy and a partial mastectomy.
Related: Robin Roberts Relives Her Roller Coaster Year With Barbara Walters
Just five years later, the TV journalist again received devastating news when she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome. She took a medical leave from 'GMA' in October 2012 to undergo a bone marrow transplant before returning to the morning show in February 2013.
“Some people [said], 'Why were you in such a hurry to get back?' It wasn’t about being back on TV. It was about being back in life. I could’ve stayed longer in an isolated room, but I didn’t want life to continue to pass me by. I wanted to participate in life," she said of her decision to rejoin 'GMA' after a four-month absence.
As for the future, Robin told 'AARP The Magazine' she couldn't be more excited to live her life to the fullest. "Put me in, Coach. I’m ready to play," she said.
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