This week’s announcement that Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts has breast cancer came as a complete shock to baby boomer author Beverly Mahone.
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news!” says Ms. Mahone. “I always thought of Robin as the epitome of good health but this just goes to show you that cancer can strike anyone at anytime.” Ms. Mahone and Robin Roberts are not only members of the same sorority but the former ESPN anchor was named a “Spectacular Baby Boomer Diva” in Ms. Mahone’s recently released book Whatever! A Baby Boomer’s Journey Into Middle Age.
In her own words, Robin outlined how she came to discover the cancer: “It all started a few weeks ago. We had gotten the news that our dear colleague and friend Joel Siegel had passed away and we began preparing for our special tribute show for him. I did a piece about Joel's courageous battle with cancer, reporting on the way my friend had lived his life and been such a successful advocate for the importance of early cancer screenings. That very night when I went to bed, I did a self breast exam and found something that women everywhere fear: I found a lump.
At first I thought, "This can't be. I am a young, healthy woman." Nevertheless, I faced my fear head on and made an appointment to see the doctor. Much as I was hoping the doctor would say it was nothing, she did a biopsy and confirmed that the lump I'd found was indeed an early form of breast cancer.
Hearing the doctor say those words out loud was surreal.”
Despite the news, Ms. Mahone says early detection may have saved Robin’s life and her actions should be a wake-up call for African-American women everywhere. “We must be vigilant when it comes to our health. What happened to Robin can happen to any one of us and if we ignore it we are doomed.”