Robin Roberts at her first birthday party. (ABC)
Robin Roberts celebrated a special milestone on "Good Morning America" Friday: Her first birthday.
Of course the anchor didn't turn 1 — she's actually 52 years young — but it's been one year since her successful bone marrow transplant, and she commemorated it with a birthday bash on the morning show.
It was a festive occasion to say the least. Roberts received well wishes from fans, friends, and family. That included a phone call from her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, who provided the bone marrow for the transplant, a cake delivery by Michael Strahan, and DJ Kiss providing Roberts's favorite tunes.
"Thank you for this wonderful moment," said Roberts, who was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes (M.D.S.), a rare blood disorder which likely was a result from her treatment for breast cancer five years earlier, in early 2012. Looking around the room at everyone, she added, "You loved me through it."
And as her own gift — a gift back — Roberts also unveiled a new public service announcement for Be the Match, the marrow registry that helps people in need to find a match. Take a look:
The TV personality shared more of the idea behind her celebration in a blog post on Friday morning.
"I learned when I was first diagnosed with MDS that many in the transplant community consider the anniversary of their bone marrow transplant to be their new birthday," she wrote. "Well, I’m ecstatic to share with you all that I turn one year old today! It's been exactly one year to the day since my blessed big sister, Sally-Ann, gave me the life-saving gift of a bone marrow transplant.
"Unlike my first first birthday — which of course I don’t remember — this time around I know I will never forget all the people who have reached out to me over the past year. Your words of encouragement, smiling faces, and prayers have carried me through the toughest times. I know that I would not have made it to this milestone without you."
Roberts ended her blog post, in which she also talked about her mother who died last year just weeks before her transplant, by sharing her birthday wish.
"That you all find the strength within yourselves to push forward and have people in your lives who will be there to love you through it," she wrote. "That is what I will wish for when I close my eyes and blow out my birthday candles. Or rather, candle."
That's a wish we can get behind. Happy birthday, Robin.
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