CLEVELAND - "You can either be fearful or fearless. And I choose to be the latter." –Robin Roberts
This was a tweet sent out by Good Morning America on Robin's first day back to work since her bone marrow transplant.
Fearless is what Robin has shown America as she battles cancer and everything that comes with it. She has embraced a spirit of determination and strength that has inspired all who know her story. A story that illustrates the power of faith, family and friendship.
"You (viewers) are a part of our family," Robin said. As a matter of fact, she says it all the time.
But watching Good Morning America this week, her statement rings even stronger in the hearts of millions who have taken this journey with her. A journey of ups and downs. Good days and bad days. Happy times and sad moments. Smiles and yes, some tears.
What is the "Robin Magic?" She connects with people from all walks of life and her story could be yours or mine. Yet she has reached beyond the television screen and touched the human spirit. Robin not only inspires, but empowers people to rise above adversity and meet it head on with no excuses. Shunning the television diva stereotype by appearing on camera with a bald head and a smile. That's because Robin knows true beauty radiates from inside. And I think even with no hair, she is still just as radiant and just as stunning. Because the magic of Robin Roberts is that she's "just Robin."
I've interviewed her once and saw her again during the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in New York City. The first time I met her she was warm, engaging, down-to-earth and lots of fun. She put me right at ease because, truthfully, I was a bundle of nerves inside. We sat on the GMA set and talked about her cancer, her book and her love of country music. I felt like I was talking to a friend who really had a great heart and a lot of compassion for people.
After the interview, she showed me the room where she gets her hair and makeup done, and I met the team that gets her together in the morning. The room was so peaceful and there were inspirational sayings on the wall. Her team had that same genuine spirit that she carries and were very personable. We laughed and talked about our faith and Robin let it be known that her faith in God sustains her. She surrounds herself with positive people and you could feel such a warm vibe in this room where her "transformation" takes place.
When I saw her again while reporting on the anniversary of the terrorists attacks it was the same Robin. No airs, no pretense, no who-are-you-and-why-are-you-speaking-to-me-attitude. I remembered her makeup artist from my last visit, so we chatted for about two hours while Robin was a few feet from us reporting the day’s events. One time Robin yelled out jokingly, "OK Danita I see you, don't try to take her!" Yes, that's the magic that's just Robin.
She has a gift that not only connects people, but it also convicts at the same time. Get up and do something with your life. Register to see if you could save a life by donating your bone marrow to a person in need.
Every time I look at Robin the "I can't" in my life becomes less and less, and the "I will" takes over. She inspires you to live the life you were meant to live. Don't give up because hope is staring you in the face saying, "come on and give it a try."
So, I am happy she is back anchoring GMA and reunited with her brothers and sisters. I don't use the word colleagues because their relationships appear to go much deeper than that. Robin treasures her friendships and loves telling her friends how special they are to her. Her family is her rock. She not only leaned on them during this health crisis, but she drew strength from them as they showered her with unconditional love.
What is the Robin magic? It's Robin's acknowledgement of her spiritual assignment and her ability to execute it with humility and gratefulness. It's her willingness to die to "self" for the greater good of others. It's defeating her fears with her faith.
Robin Roberts knows only one way to give and she does it freely, as the title of her book says: “From the Heart.”
Welcome back, Robin!