Emotional support. Robin Roberts got choked up when discussing partner Amber Laign’s current battle with breast cancer — a journey the Good Morning America host, herself a breast cancer survivor, knows all too well.
“I haven’t talked about it much, but with you I will,” the television journalist, 61, told Ellen DeGeneres about Laign’s health while holding back tears in a clip from the comedian’s talk show shared on Friday, April 22.
“She’s doing well, which is great,” Roberts said of the massage therapist, 47 — her partner of 17 years — noting the difference between being in the caregiver role this time.
“I went through it twice, barely shed a tear,” she explained. “I’m a puddle every time I think about what Amber is going through. But she is being so courageous and is handling it extremely well.”
Despite a blip in Laign’s treatment plan — Roberts told Entertainment Tonight earlier this month that her partner’s chemotherapy sessions are paused for now due to “complications” — “the prognosis is good for her,” the GMA anchor told DeGeneres, 64.
The Alabama native has been open about her own health issues throughout the years, including her own breast cancer diagnosis in 2007. She later battled a rare bone marrow disease, myelodysplastic syndrome, taking a leave of absence from GMA in 2012.
“I am doing so well,” the Brighter by the Day author told Us Weekly in January 2020. “I’m just very grateful to be doing as well as I am.”
The fact that the couple have been down this road before is only helpful, Roberts explained to DeGeneres — particularly for the ABC personality, who wants to emulate the strength and comfort Laign provided to her when she was fighting her own health battles.
“I’m able to kind of give her a roadmap because I’ve gone through it, but she’s also given me a roadmap on how to be a caregiver,” Roberts remarked. “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 navigated for me. So, I’m doing the same thing for her.”
The journalist further emphasized the importance of going to the doctor, something she pointed out that Laign had put off due to the pandemic.
“Get those regular exams,” Roberts noted. “It can save your life.”
While the two have weathered their fair share of health problems throughout their relationship, Roberts’ motto — which she shared with Us in January 2020 — helps to get her through it all.
“My life lesson is ‘This too shall pass,’” she told Us at the time. “I’m a living, breathing example of ‘This too shall pass.’ I have a little placard in my dressing room that says, ‘This too shall pass. … Now would be good.’ We want to get through it, but I understand that the reason why things are placed in our path is for us to learn from and to share with others.”
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