BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Robin Roberts' smile lit up electronic billboards across Times Square. It was 7:00 am on the east coast, and Good Morning America's announcer welcomed viewers to "a very special edition of Good Morning America." Five months after a bone marrow transplant, Roberts was back in her anchor chair on the GMA set.
"I keep pinching myself," she told colleagues and viewers as the show opened. "And I realize this is real."
Friends and family showed up early and applauded as Robin returned to work.
The first welcome back message was from President and Mrs. Obama. That was fitting, because later this week, Robin's first two assignments are to interview Michelle Obama, and then to host the Oscars red carpet special on ABC.
"Not what we had in mind for easing back in," one of Roberts' doctors joked.
Since Roberts first announced she needed a bone marrow transplant, friends have joined forces, creating what they called #Team Robin. They wore bracelets that had four words on them: light, love, power, and presence.
Despite the risks associated with needing a bone marrow transplant, Robin Roberts always believed she would return to GMA. "Faith, family and friends have brought me to this moment," she said. "And I'm so filled with gratitude."
In the crowd at Wednesday's GMA broadcast were sisters Sally Ann Roberts and Dorothy McEwan. They've been sources of strength during this five month ordeal. And don't forget, it was Sally Ann's bone marrow that gave Robin a second birthday, and a second chance to make a difference.
Making a difference is something Lawrence and Lucimarian Roberts always stressed to their children. It's a message Robin has taken to heart. She mentioned one of her mom's favorite sayings as she explained what it meant to be back on TV. "Everyone's story has purpose and meaning and value," she said. "And I share this morning, this day of celebration with everyone."