Watervliet woman inspired by Robin Roberts' health battle - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Watervliet woman inspired by Robin Roberts' health battle


WATERVLIET, N.Y. - Robin Roberts will make her highly anticipated return to Good Morning America Wednesday, five months after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder.

She has lost all of her hair and thirty pounds, but was cleared by her doctors to return to GMA.

News10's Taryn Kane spoke with a local woman who's going through a health battle of her own and says she can relate to Robin's fight, even calling her an inspiration.

"What were your chance of fullfilling a full and healthy life at the rate you were going?" asked Taryn.

"It wasn't going to happen, because there were no other drugs to try, the ones that did work on me stopped working," says Bernadette Drabik, who was diagnosed with myleodysplastic syndrome.

For years, Drabik lived a life of weekly bloodwork and weekly transfusions, to keep her blood count at a normal level. But this past fall, she underwent a stem cell transplant, around the same time Robin Roberts had her bone marrow transplant.

Drabik says Roberts' attitude toward life helped her through.

"She was just so upbeat and that little prayer she said her mother taught her, I had that written down and I was reading that all the time," she says.

As Roberts continues her recovery, Drabik is continuing hers, saying she is stronger and stronger every day.

Similar to Roberts, she has to take it slow, avoid crowds, and will need to be immunized in about a year.

Because she can relate, Drabik says Roberts comeback is amazing.

"She's got a lot of support and you need support," says Drabik. "You need family, you need friends, you need somebody you can cry with, somebody you can laugh with, and that's the only way you get through it."

Drabik saysshe hasn't had to have a blood transfusion in 18-20 weeks, and while she is still on anti-rejection drugs, she won't have to be on those for life.

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