Robin Roberts: “I Choose To Be Fearless”

Robin Roberts attending the ESPY Awards

After growing up in Mississippi and attending Southeastern Louisiana University, Roberts was a sports anchor for local TV and radio stations. Roberts was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years (1990–2005). She became co-anchor on Good Morning America in 2005. It was that time during Good Morning America that the whole world would see what Robin was made of.

Just over four years ago, Robin Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant…and became an inspiration to millions of people.

“I learned when I was first diagnosed with MDS that many in the transplant community consider the anniversary of their bone marrow transplant to be their new birthday,” Robin said.

READ: What Is MDS?

Robin, 56, underwent the  transplant on Sept. 20, 2012, when she was injected with a syringe carrying cells donated by her sister Sally-Ann, according to Dr. Gail Roboz, an oncologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Roberts revealed that same year in June that she had been diagnosed with myelodyplastic syndrome (MDS), a bone marrow disorder triggered by treatment for breast cancer five years ago.

The breast cancer survivor recalled a moment when she felt like she was dying. Her doctor warned of the feeling. “I was in a pain I had never experienced before, physically and mentally,” said Roberts. “I was in a coma-like state. I truly felt I was slipping away. Then I kept hearing, ‘Robin! Robin!’ I came out of it, and it was my nurse Jenny. She was screaming at me. I saw her enlarged eyes above her mask, pleading for me to stay here. And thankfully I did. I came back.”