As journalist Robin Roberts likes to say, she “turned her mess into a message” after a year of terrifying health scares and career triumphs.
The successful "Good Morning America" co-host sat down with Barbara Walters during her "Most Fascinating People of 2013" special to discuss her roller coaster year.
After being diagnosed with MDS, a rare cancer of the blood, and given less than 2 years to live, Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant and spent more than 6 months in recovery.
And GMA viewers experienced every step of the way as the co-host allowed cameras to capture her highest highs and lowest lows.
When asked by Walters why she let people go through the medical journey with her, Roberts answered, “I’ve been in people’s homes for the last 10 years, having breakfast with them. They feel like you’re a part of the family.”
But despite endless trips to the doctors, this past year brought some wonderful moments as well, including GMA’s continuous ratings win over morning show competitor “TODAY,” which was 16 years in the making.
But that celebration was short-lived after news of Roberts’ MDS diagnosis. And the anchor still gets emotional talking about that day.
“It was hard Barbara because…so much that was unknown…I was scared,” a teary-eyed Roberts shared. “I was for the first time…I was truly frightened.”
But when the bubbly host returned to the anchor desk in February of this year after 174 days spent away from her colleagues, everything felt right again. And she remains focused on the present rather than what has been or what will be.
“There’s always a chance it could return,” Roberts said of her cancer. “I realize that when I start becoming depressed, I’m thinking about the past. I realize if I’m becoming anxious, I’m thinking about the future.
“But when I’m just kind of like ‘I’m right here with Barbara Walters,’ that’s just being in the present…enjoying the moment.”