PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Good Morning America co-host and coast native Robin Roberts is truly an inspiration. It's why she won the coveted Arthur Ashe courage award last year, and why she has won the hearts of Americans around the country.
That was clear at her recent book signing in Pass Christian. The line stretched on and on down Scenic Drive, as friends and fans waited to meet Robin Roberts at Pass Christian Books. Her hometown isn't the only place people have been inspired by her courage.
She has hundreds of thousands of viewers who follow her on Good Morning America. They have all watched her beat breast cancer, and then fight Myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, a few short years later.
"I feel I'm a more complete person to face death, not once, but twice, and to still be here. But when you strut you stumble; that's what Mama used to say, so I'm very grateful but I'm not getting cocky about getting through this."
And that's the sentiment and spirit she shares in her new book, "Everybody's Got Something." The title is based on something her Mama used to tell her.
"As problems got more serious with breast cancer and MDS, I would sometimes have that woe is me moment, and she would sweetly say, "Honey, everybody's got something." And that's so true, Karen, be it health or something else."
It's that kind of upbringing and thinking that has given her strength, and kept her humble and true to her roots, despite her rise to fame
"You've known me a long time, known my family a long time. The core of me is the same; but I have my eyes wide open and have extreme appreciation."
Appreciation for how far she has come in her battles and for the love and support she has received along the way, not only from her family and friends, but her fans.
"Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength. I had to raise my hand and say, 'I need help.' And boy did the Gulf Coast in particular come to my aid with prayers, which I'm eternally grateful for."
September 20, 2014 will mark two years since her bone marrow transplant. It was a gift of life she received from her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, to whom the book is dedicated. Until she reaches that two year mark, chemotherapy treatments continue.
"It's just maintenance, low grade chemo. Just like a pasture where they're wiping out the weeds that may be there. And I'm thankful that all the results are coming back extremely good. The prognosis is excellent and I'm thankful for every day."
That doesn't mean it's easy. Low grade chemo still wipes her out from time to time.
"Thankfully I've always been an optimistic person, so when that challenge comes your way, it's not easy, but it's easier to battle."
And she shares those battles and triumphs in "Everybody's Got Something," a book her sisters tell her would have made her Mama proud.
"As children, that's all you want: your parents to be proud of you, even if they're not here," Robin said, holding back tears. "And I think that she would be proud. She got the first word in the book and the last word. And I know that would make her happy, to have the last word in the book."
So if "Everybody's got Something" are the first words in the book, from her beloved mother, Lucimarian Roberts; what were her sage final words? You'll have to read Robin's book to find out.