Nov 12, 2013 11:51 PM by Marcelle Fontenot
Yesterday, Marcelle introduced you to Sally-Ann Roberts, New Orleans news anchor, author and bone marrow donor. Sally-Ann donated the bone marrow and stem cells necessary to give her sister, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts and second chance at life. Sally-Ann recently wrote a book. Of course Robin was there for the launch party and she and Marcelle got a few minutes to chat.
"We're in New Orleans ya'll!"
She may now call New York City home but Robin Roberts will always be a southern girl.
"I miss this about the south. The people. The music. The weather; it was cold when I left New York. It's hard to explain. It's just something about the south that will always be in my DNA.
Believe it or not, Robin is celebrating her first birthday...well, sort of.
"I was told the one year anniversary is kind of like your first birthday. I thought, no, I'm a Sagittarius, November 23rd. But, when September 20th rolled around, it did feel like my birthday.
That's because on September 20, 2012, Robin was "reborn". She was given new bone marrow and stem cells. She needed the transplant because she was diagnosed with myelodisplastic syndrome, a result of the treatments she underwent while fighting breast cancer. Robin's donor and perfect match: her big sister, Sally-Ann.
"We were already close and now...(tears)....It's a bond you can't describe.
I gave her an out when she came back a match and told her you don't have to do this. She told me Robin, I was born to do this."
The pair went through countless test and doctor visits and the transplant was a success. Robin now, after the long, grueling road to recovery, is healthy.
"I've got sister Sally in my veins."
Robin says it's often thought that a sibling is an automatic match for someone who needs a bone marrow donor. But the reality is, only three in ten siblings are matches, meaning at least 70 percent of people out there have to depend on someone else. Someone on the donor registry.
People always say, I wish I could so something; I wish I could help. You can save a life. How powerful is that, to know that because of you a new life is created.
What makes her happy is very simple.
"I'm happy to just be here. To be given a second chance at life. "
But, what keeps Robin going?
"We're all a bit stronger than we think. I'm always humbled when people say that about me because I know I've been lifted and given strength by others."
With all of the strength and determination she exudes, there are a few simple words Robin relies on when needing an extra push.
"'This too shall pass.' I am a walking, breathing symbol of 'This too shall pass'. "
If you are interested in learning more or becoming a bone marrow donor, visit bethematch.org.