BookPage Nonfiction Top Pick, May 2014

Robin Roberts took a leave of absence as co-host of “Good Morning America” in 2012 to face a life-threatening battle with a blood disorder, one that likely was caused by the chemotherapy she endured during a bout with breast cancer five years earlier. In Everybody’s Got Something, Roberts manages to “make her mess her message,” as her beloved mother always advised her to do. Roberts is both astonishingly honest and refreshingly upbeat as she recounts the shock of discovering she once again had to fight for her life.

A hall-of-fame college basketball player, Roberts had always depended on her body to deliver. Yet here she was, searching for a blood marrow donor upon whom she would now depend. Miraculously, her sister Sally-Ann was a near-perfect match, and was willing to travel between her home in New Orleans and Robin’s in Manhattan to undergo the lengthy process needed to allow doctors to harvest blood cells for her baby sister.

In the midst of this health crisis, Roberts’ mother passed away after years of declining health. It’s a crushing blow to Roberts, who spoke to her mom every day after wrapping GMA. But as her mother often told her, everybody’s got something they’re dealing with. Robin returns to New York and dives into a brutal chemotherapy regimen that essentially destroys her immune system so that Sally-Ann’s healthy blood cells can rebuild it.

Roberts, who wrote this book with author Veronica Chambers, exudes warmth and love as she recalls one of the hardest times in her life, giving credit to her GMA co-hosts and her many “dear friends” (she must use this phrase dozens of times throughout the book—girlfriend’s got a lot of friends) for their support. She also opens up about her longtime love, Amber, who nurses her through the illness and shares some of her own caretaking advice in the book.

Delivered with candor and optimism, Everybody’s Got Something is a remarkable book that offers a blueprint for handling crises with grace and faith.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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