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ESSENCE Empowerment: Robin Roberts’ Intimate Chat With Her Sister, Who Saved Her Life

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Journalist Robin Roberts has beaten cancer twice, and for her second triumphant victory, she has her older sister, news anchor Sally-Ann Roberts to thank. When Robin received her second diagnosis, she learned that her big sister Sally-Ann was a perfect genetic match, and could give her a life-saving bone marrow donation.

Both sisters joined award-winning news anchor Soledad O’Brien on the ESSENCE Festival 2014 Empowerment stage today for an intimate conversation about the power of healing, faith and love.

Their discussion began on a deeply touching note with Sally Ann asking that anyone in the audience who prayed for her sister’s healing to stand up. More than half of those in the room rose to their feet while Sally Ann began to sing the popular gospel hymn “Thank You Lord” and asked them to join her in praise. It was a heartwarming opening to a truly touching show of sisterly love and support.

Robin recalled how difficult it was for her to ask such a huge favor of her sister, but remembered how amazing she was about it all from the start. ““I was elated to be able to do this,” said Sally-Ann, who’s eight years older than Robin. The very first thing Sally-Ann said in response was “I was born to do this” Robin recalled. “I believe that before I was in my mother’s womb, God knew what Robin would need,” she added. “He knew that we needed to be a genetic match. God did that.”

Over 70 diseases can be cured using bone marrow and Robin and Sally Ann are committed to raising awareness about bone marrow transplant and dispelling the myths.

“I have been helped so much, it is a pleasure to be here as a messenger,” Robin told the crowd.

The conversation touched on the role that faith plays in healing many times. Robin’s advice? “When fear knocks, let faith answer the door!”

Well, amen!

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