Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America host who was the first black women sports anchor on ESPN, will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPYs in July for her perseverance and brave and public battle with cancer.
In 2007, Roberts announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She empowered viewers as they followed her journey to successfully beat the disease and began speaking on breast cancer awareness and treatment. Her courageous public battle has been recognized with honors from organizations around the country, including The Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Last year, Roberts announced she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), and she would be taking leave from GMA to receive a bone marrow transplant from her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts. Roberts brave battle with MDS brought attention to the illness and greatly increased the number of donors to the Be the Match Foundation, reportedly the world’s largest registry of potential bone marrow donors.
Roberts returned to her seat at the anchor desk on February 20, just five months to the day she underwent her bone marrow transplant.
“Robin brings an amazing amount of energy, compassion and determination to everything she does,” ESPN president John Skipper said. “Those qualities made her an incredible asset during her time here at ESPN, and they have served her well as she battled the terrible health challenges that she’s had to face.
“Robin’s accomplishments in so many areas – as an athlete, a broadcaster, a cancer survivor and more – demonstrate her ability to shine regardless of adversity and we could not be more proud to honor her as the recipient of this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award.”