Robin Roberts' 'Everybody's Got Something': How She Overcame the Most Tumultuous Year of Her Life

Roberts tells Good Housekeeping: "You gotta find what your happiness is."

ByABC News
April 14, 2014, 9:19 AM

April 14, 2014— -- “Everybody’s got something."

That’s what Robin Roberts’ mother used to tell her. For the “Good Morning America” co-anchor, her something was myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, a rare blood disorder.

Roberts, a breast cancer survivor, underwent a bone marrow transplant in September 2012 to treat MDS, receiving donor cells from her sister, Sally Ann, and candidly documented her journey.

Now, in a new memoir, “Everybody’s Got Something,” out April 22, she opens up her battle and the incredible support system -- including her family, friends, and girlfriend, Amber, who helped her get through it all, from the shock of the diagnosis through each milestone in her recovery.

"Amber cleared her schedule to come with me [to an oncologist]. 'We’re stronger than this,’ she said, squeezing my hand,'" Roberts writes in the book, published in the latest issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. “I felt so grateful knowing that whatever was ahead of me, I wouldn’t have to go through it alone.”

In the early stages of her diagnosis, Roberts recalls the day she looked up MDS online, prompting her to immediately go “numb” and begin “crying hysterically.” But after her first visit with a specialist, when Roberts said she was told her life expectancy would be one to two years if she took no action, something clicked and she “kicked into warrior mode.”

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"Once it sunk in, though, I kicked into warrior mode. I leaned forward and slapped my fists on his desk and said, "OK. What do we do?” she writes, learning that a bone marrow transplant was her shot at a “cure.” “There was a chance we could defeat this, game over. A chance was all I needed."

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Faith, family, friends, and the encouragement of “GMA” viewers across the country, gave Roberts the strength to push through and overcome the physical and emotional challenges over the tumultuous year. As she recovered, Roberts continued to express her deep gratitude for those around her, and in a Dec. 2013 Facebook post, revealed her relationship with Amber, thanking her publicly for the support.

The decision to publicly share the relationship was a deeply personal one, Roberts explained in an interview with Good Housekeeping.

"This is what’s right for me. Love is love, and I’m grateful to have that. Sometimes there’s a stigma attached to how people view you if you’re living a certain way. But I don’t care – you gotta live your life. You gotta find what your happiness is and what it means for you," she said. "You can’t get caught up in what someone is saying about you on Twitter. You don’t go through a year like I did to not be happy and not make your own choices."

To find out more about bone marrow donation and sign up for a registration kit from the Be the Match Registry, click here.