Robin Roberts was awarded with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award this evening at the ESPYs.
Roberts, a broadcast journalist with ESPN and ABC, has overcome battles with both breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease that required a bone marrow transplant.
Roberts was a star athlete growing up before launching a career in broadcast journalism. In 1990, she joined the staff of ESPN as a Sportscenter anchor and reporter, a role she thrived in for the next fifteen years.
Roberts joined the ABC Good Morning America staff as a reporter and later became a host for the show. One of her most famous television moments came during her coverage of Hurricane Katrina, when a visibly emotional Roberts spoke of her own family who were affected by the storm.
Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. After surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Roberts returned back to Good Morning America, becoming a powerful voice in the fight against the disease.
In 2012, however, Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease that came as a side effect from her cancer treatment. She would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. Be the Match Registry, which is a national registry of bone marrow donors, saw a 1,800% increase in donors the day after Roberts made her illness public on television.
Days after her own mother's passing, Roberts underwent the bone marrow transplant surgery, which would prove to be successful. Six months later, Roberts had recovered from the surgery, and returned with an emotional appearance on Good Morning America.
LeBron James presented the award to Roberts, who received a standing ovation. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is for recipients who "reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost."
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