This past weekend, Al Roker cheered on his wife, ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts, and their 17-year-old son Nick as they ran in the 17th annual Achilles Hope and Possibility race in New York City.
Achilles New York is a chapter of Achilles International – a non-profit charity with a mission to help athletes with disabilities participate in mainstream sports. Nick recently competed in the Special Olympics in New York and took home two gold medals for swimming in his first statewide meet.
Roker opened up about raising a son with special needs in a personal essay for Guideposts Magazine where he explains that Nick had experienced developmental delays early on and falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. Within the essay, he credits Nick’s love for sports, his spirit, and the amazing for optimism of his wife as reasons why Nick has overcome so many challenges.
“‘You must be proud of your son,’ someone will say. Yes, I am. More than they’ll ever know,” Al wrote. “The obstacles in this kid’s way were things that might have tripped up many others. Not Nick, not even with the disabilities he was born with.”
Roker made sure he was there in person to support his family, catching a red-eye flight from San Francisco so he could be there to welcome them at the finish line. The news anchor shared a video of the two crossing the finish line on Instagram, capturing a powerful moment between the entire family.
Roker and Roberts first met as 1990, when Roberts was hired by NBC as a general-assignment reporter. They initially bonded as friends shortly before Roberts was transferred to Miami and then Atlanta. In 1992, she returned back to the Big Apple as a correspondent for Dateline and began dating Roker after he split from his first wife, Alice Bell.
The couple married in 1995. Together their share two kids – Leila Ruth and Nick – and Roker has a daughter, Courtney, from his previous marriage. The anchors spoke about juggling family, careers and one on one time in a special segment for Today.