PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) – One of Pass Christian's hometown heroes is gracing the cover of the March issue of Prevention magazine. In the interview, Good Morning America Anchor Robin Roberts speaks candidly about her battle with breast cancer, her close relationship with Diane Sawyer, thoughts on diet and exercise, and African Americans in the media.
She tells Prevention readers that when she first found a lump in her breast, she already had an appointment scheduled with a new physician. Since her last mammogram had been a few years back, she called to get her appointment moved up, and got a surprising reaction.
"They said, ‘No, we're booked solid,'' Roberts recalled. "And I'm thinking to myself, ‘Wow, this really happens.' I reached out to Diane [Sawyer] and [ABC colleague] Deborah Roberts. Deborah gave me a referral." "As exhilarated as I was after my treatment ended, there's also this feeling of Well, who's watching me now? Because for almost a year—especially at the end, when you're going in for radiation every day for six and a half week—you felt like someone's watching you. And then suddenly it's like, ‘Go, run along. You'll be okay.' I was in a funk. I was depressed. Also you're mad at yourself because you're thinking, I'm supposed to be happy. The treatment's over. My hair is growing back." "Oh, yeah, and my doctors warned me. They were laughing at me because I was like, ‘Oh, I can't wait!' And they said, 'Trust us.' It lasted the whole spring. My treatment ended in March/April of '08. It wasn't until the end of that summer that I started to feel I wasn't depressed. Even when I went on vacation to Saint Lucia, I was kind of depressed, even though it was such a beautiful place."
A lot has changed for Roberts since then. "I've gone from being the youngest member of the morning team to the oldest, by only a couple of months. George [Stephanopoulos] turned fifty in February. But I've seen how I've grown."
Roberts says she misses working with her pal Diane Sawyer, who now anchors ABC's flagship broadcast "World News."
"It's like your other arm isn't there. And it was just so easy to work with her. It really did feel like Thelma & Louise. I have a picture of the two of us on my coffee table at my home. She amazes me still to this day. She is the most talented, most valuable, hardest worker we have in ABC News."
Talented and hard-working are certainly words that have been used to describe Roberts as well, especially by those who knew her growing up in Pass Christian, or by those who worked with her at WLOX-TV years ago. She's known for always remembering where she came from, especially after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. So you may be surprised to find out that personal connections sometimes took a backseat on her way to the top.
"I look back over the first half of my career-working for a small station in Hattiesburg for $5.50 an hour, then moving to Biloxi to Nashville to Atlanta for two years, and then ESPN in 1990. I was not a very good friend. I was so laser focused on I'm going to work for the network, damn it. And I'm sorry if I can't come home for Christmas or if I can't go to your kid's graduation. And I didn't even feel bad about it. At least now I feel bad. And I don't do that as much. Today, as much as I love my career, there's no way I would ever put that before anyone in my personal life. And if they were to say, ‘If you don't do this, you'll lose your job,' I'd say, ‘It's been a great ride. Thanks a lot. But this is far more important."
The March issue of Prevention with Roberts on the cover went on sale this week at newsstands across the country. And, of course, you can watch Robin every weekday morning on Good Morning America beginning at 7am on WLOX.
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