#EssenceFest alum, Robin Roberts is undoubtedly the strongest person on daytime TV and a woman who empowers us. After facing (and beating) cancer three times, showing up to work weeks after undergoing chemotherapy, watching her hometown of Mississippi get swept away by Katrina, losing her mom in the midst of the fight for her own life and coming out in front of the world during a live broadcast, she remains a force of positivity no matter what.
The Mississippi native never let her trials stop her career or her own commitment to focus on the good. While most people face their toughest moments in the comfort of their homes and often with close companions, Roberts faced everything on television with a national audience eyeing her every move. Though it was a tough feat, she inspired millions of watchers to fight harder and cherish the sanctity of life.
During her televised battle with MDS, a rare and life-threatening blood disorder she contracted during her breast cancer treatments in 2007, she encouraged the members of her audience to donate their blood marrow to save people like her by “being the match.” Shortly after she started the campaign with the full support of her GMA co-anchors, the non-profit organization Be the Match saw an 1,800 percent donor increase. As a result of her courage to show the world her struggle, she helped save hundreds of lives. Later, her “dear sister Sally Ann,” as she calls her, saved her own life by giving her matching blood marrow to Robin in 2011.
Nonetheless, Robin’s journey has had just as many highs. In 2013, she returned to “Good Morning America,” after months of being away for treatment. Her big return brought in the show’s highest ratings as 6.1 millions fans and supporters cheered her on as she said, “I have been waiting 174 days to say this: Good morning, America!”
In 2014, she decided to share her own truth with the world when she told viewers about the love of her life, a woman named Amber Laign who had been by her side throughout the entire battle with cancer.
In her new book, Everybody’s Got Something, she says, “Life is not so much what you accomplish as what you overcome.” And most importantly, “When fear knocks, let faith answer the door.”
For inspiration to get you through hump day, watch her inspiring speech as she accepted the highly coveted Arthur Ashe Award from Lebron James as the 2013 ESPYs.