Amy Robach had just given birth to her second child when she underwent surgery to remove a benign tumor in one of her ovaries. A few years later, the hard-charging TV reporter found out her heart was in a constant state of misfire.
But those health scares were mere blimps on the radar compared to the day when Amy Robach found out she had breast cancer.
The award-winning news anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America chronicles her difficult but illuminating 12-month journey to survivor status in the 2015 book Better: How I Let Go of Control, Held On to Hope, and Found Joy in My Darkest Hour.” Robach will be the afternoon keynote speaker at the annual Girls’ Day Out on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.
A self-admitted “workaholic,” Robach didn’t let anything slow her down as she climbed the ladder from morning traffic reporter to national correspondent until that shocking day in October 2013 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40.
“My self-worth was tied to my job. It defined me beyond the point of healthiness,” Robach writes in her revealing, 256-page memoir. “When I was diagnosed, I felt my sunny outlook had been stolen.”
A life-saving mammogram on national TV
There was no history of cancer in her family when Robach agreed to have her first mammogram on national TV. To her surprise, the test revealed a malignant tumor on her right breast. Her doctor removed 13 of her lymph nodes before he found a second tumor. She immediately underwent a bilateral mastectomy, followed by six months of chemotherapy treatments.
“Turns out I was the poster child for mastectomy, but no one knew it ahead of time, because my lymph nodes ‘looked’ normal in the sonogram and my tumor seemed isolated,” Robach recounts in the book, which was published last September.
After her third chemo treatment, Robach, who spent nine years at NBC, including six as a weekend anchor for Today, boarded a plane to cover the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. After her eighth and final round of chemo, Robach joined a legion of breast cancer survivors in America. She’s now on a mission to spread the word about the benefits of early detection.
Hear her story of triumph, and of finding new purpose and strength when she delivers the afternoon keynote address at Girls’ Day Out on Saturday, September 17. Tickets are $40. To register, visit 2016girlsdayout.eventbrite.com.