Robin Roberts returns to GMA: Anchor's spirit, attitude an inspiration after battles with disease

CLEVELAND - "I'm going to beat this," Robin Roberts told viewers back in June after revealing she had been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome and needed a bone marrow transplant.

Eight months after the emotional announcement, Roberts returned to "Good Morning America" Wednesday and it's a good reason worth watching.

"Faith, family, friends have brought me to this moment," Roberts said as she opened the show back in her familiar spot next to George Stephanopoulos.

The "GMA" co-anchor does more than just read the news or gab with celebrities - she offers an example of extreme strength and resiliency.

In 2007, Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer. She began losing her hair, then shaved it all off on national television before wearing a wig on-air.

Robin won that battle, just as she did another in this year of highs and lows.

As "Good Morning America" was eclipsing "The Today Show" in the ratings for the first time in more than a decade and Roberts scored an exclusive interview with President Obama about gay marriage, she found about the myelodyplastic syndrome, a result of breast cancer treatment.

From there, the challenges continued. Hours after saying goodbye to viewers for awhile in August, Roberts lost her mother Lucimarian.

The GMA anchor had to begin her difficult journey without mom, an unprecedented challenge for her.

"This is the first time that I have been through any traumatic experience without her being here and that has weighed on me," Roberts said in an interview with Sally-Ann, her sister and bone marrow donor.

A month later, Roberts received the bone marrow transplant following chemotherapy treatments. What came next, Roberts told "People" magazine, tested her limits.

"I was in pain I had never experienced before, physically and mentally," she recalls. "I was in a coma-like state. I truly felt I was slipping away," Roberts said.

But she never gave up. That's not in Roberts' DNA.

The 52-year-old is a trailblazer, respected by leaders and loved by viewers.

"You've been an inspiration to all of us," President Obama said in a welcome back message to Robin on Wednesday morning's show.

Roberts made her mark as a star basketball player at Southeastern Louisiana University, then becoming ESPN's first African-American on-air anchorwoman. Last year, she was honored with induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Young women can look at Roberts as a role model, breaking new ground and sharing her battles publicly, never cowering away from adversity.

Roberts is an inspiration to so many who have watched her all these years. Look no further than a post on our WEWS Facebook page when Robin's mother died. 

It read "LIKE this if your SUPPORT Robin. COMMENT and leave your well wishes for Robin."

More than 298,000 people liked that post and 24,144 commented with a message.

Many of those people have probably never met Robin but adore her. They watch her on "Good Morning America," where she comes into living rooms every day exuding energy and spirit. Her positivity in even the most trying times is infectious.

We've laughed and cried with her because she gives us a real, genuine look at her life. There may be a little of both Wednesday morning.

Back in November, Roberts said, "We're all a little bit stronger than we think we are."

Not many in the limelight are stronger, or more inspiring, than Robin.

For more info on bone marrow donation, click here: http://on.wews.com/XuUp2O . Share your well wishes for Robin and thoughts about her return in the comment box below.

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