Inside Robin Roberts' heartbreaking cancer battle after GMA host broke down over partner Amber Laign's same diagnosis

ROBIN Roberts broke down in tears this week as she discussed her partner Amber Laign's cancer diagnosis.  

The Good Morning America host spoke with Ellen about the heartbreaking news and detailed its emotional toll in her first interview on the subject.

Robin Robertsspoke with Ellen about Amber's cancer battleCredit: The Ellen Show

Roberts, 61, said: "She [ Amber] is being so courageous and is handling it extremely well."

But the TV anchor knows only too well the devastating reality of cancer, having twice battled the disease herself.

First, in 2007, when Roberts was diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer.

She underwent eight chemotherapy treatments to eliminate the disease.


Robin Roberts breaks down as she talks on partner’s cancer diagnosis

GMA’s Robin Roberts gives update on partner’s health and shares cute message

Then in 2012, when Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome.

That's a type of cancer that occurs when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow become abnormal, resulting in "low numbers of one or more types of blood cells," according to

Roberts learned that her life expectancy would be one to two years without a successful transplant.

She underwent a bone marrow transplant and received healthy blood-forming cells from her sister.


But the disorder led her to take a leave of absence from GMA in 2012 to undergo treatment.

"You're just numb when you when you hear something like that," she told USAToday.

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The disease again struck close to home for Roberts when her partner Amber was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2021.

Roberts – who has been co-anchoring ABC's early news segment for two decades – first revealed the news in February this year.


The anchor has said that writing her book helped her come to terms with the ups and downs that she and Laign had been experiencing.

"I was struggling, and then I was thinking, 'Robin, you have this book. You're talking to people about their valleys and how to get out of it, and so, why don't you just actually listen to your own words?'" Roberts said.

"I can handle this. I have the strength. I've been through this. I can help Amber. She's helping me, so I turned 'Why me?' into 'Why not me?'"


Now Roberts is focusing her attention on helping Amber.

She told Ellen: "I haven't talked about it much, but with you, I will.

"She's doing well, which is great and what you said, I went through it twice, barely shed a tear.

"I'm a puddle every time I think about what Amber is going through.

"She is being so courageous and is handling it extremely well.

"And I'm able to give her a little bit of a road map because I've gone through it, but she's also given me a road map on how to be a caregiver.

"And I didn't realize how much I had blocked out during my journey, and it was because of sweet Amber because she protected me and because she navigated for me. So, I'm doing the same thing for her."


Roberts also told fans this week that Laign, 47, had paused her breast cancer treatments due to "complications" with chemotherapy.

The anchor told Entertainment Tonight that despite the complications, "the prognosis is still very good."

"They're working it out. We're gonna figure it out."

Roberts said that she encourages Laign, who has been her partner for over 16 years, to stay positive.

"Recently, it was a little tough there when — because she just wanted to get through it and to have this wrench thrown in our way — but I was able to tell her, as most people [who] have gone through cancer [know], this happens."


On Monday, the GMA anchor also tweeted a video message to her followers about recognizing their own gifts and talents.

After one fan asked her about Laign, Roberts replied: "Amber had a restful weekend. Kind of you to ask."

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Roberts had told fans: "I hope you had a restful weekend, and we are so glad to be starting a brand new week with you with some."

In the clip, she prays and tells her fans: "Don't discount the gift God has put in you…There is nothing ordinary about you."

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