Skip to main contentSkip to footer

GMA stars' health battles revealed: Lara Spencer, Robin Roberts, Ginger Zee & more

From cancer to depression, the GMA anchors have been open about their illnesses

gma stars health battles© Photo: Getty Images
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
November 12, 2022
Share this:

The stars of Good Morning America may look otherworldly during their TV appearances – but they battle with debilitating illnesses just like the rest of us.

EXCLUSIVE: Amy Robach opens up about telling her daughters of her breast cancer diagnosis

While they're always the picture of health during filming, several of the much-loved stars have been through troubling health issues, from Lara Spencer and Robin Roberts to Ginger Zee and T.J. Holmes.

WATCH: GMA stars mourn devastating death

Amy Robach breast cancer

gma amy robach health© Photo: Getty Images

Amy's cancer kicked her into menopause

Amy Robach received the call no one wants to get in 2013. At the age of 40, Amy took part in a live mammogram on Good Morning America to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and received a phone call several weeks later on 30 October, telling her that she had stage 2 invasive breast cancer.

SEE: GMA's Robin Roberts' unbelievable story of survival – and how partner Amber supported her

MORE: How Robin Roberts helped Amy Robach even before breast cancer diagnosis

Discussing the call, Amy previously said: "It can make me emotional literally thinking about it right now. When I first got diagnosed, it's just a whirlwind of so many decisions… and it all happens so quickly."

The mom-of-two proceeded to have a double mastectomy and eight rounds of chemotherapy, as well as breast reconstruction surgery.

Amy's cancer diagnosis led to early medicinally induced menopause at the age of 40. "I know now that it is a very common side effect of chemotherapy. It wasn't just a side effect to my doctors though, it was a bonus because estrogen fuels my type of cancer," she said on GMA in 2018.

"Sure enough, halfway through my treatments, I stopped menstruating and doctors placed me on medication to keep me in a state of menopause for at least the next decade."

Robin Roberts cancer

gma robin roberts health© Photo: Getty Images

Robin has had cancer twice

Robin Roberts has battled cancer not once, but twice.

In 2007, Robin was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and six weeks of radiation therapy, bravely returning to work only a couple of weeks after an operation.

In an interview on The Dr. Oz Show last year, Robin discussed the experience. "My mother always said, 'Make your mess your message'," she said. "And when I was diagnosed with [breast] cancer, I was like, 'What's the message?'

"It was about early detection… I was triple-negative, but because I had, through self-detection found the lump, I just told people that early detection is not a guarantee, but it increases your chances."

READ: GMA's Robin Roberts reveals extreme weight loss that had doctors concerned

gma stars health battles© Photo: Getty Images

The GMA co-stars have all supported each other

Five years later, the now 61-year-old faced a second diagnosis of MSA – bone marrow disorder myelodysplastic syndrome – which is caused when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow become abnormal.

The GMA star told Dr. Oz that once again, she listened to her mum's words during her terrifying ordeal. "I didn't realise that people were not aware to join the [bone marrow] registry and to be a donor. So, I got the message out there," she said.

"I want to be a symbol to people that 'this too shall pass'. We are all stronger than we think we are… I don't want to survive going through something like this, I want to thrive."

Robin's sister Sally Ann Roberts played a huge role in Robin's MDS recovery, as the journalist received a life-saving bone marrow transplant using donor cells from her sibling.

"It's considered a rebirth," Robin said of the transplant during an appearance on GMA. "And I definitely felt that I was getting another chance at life."

Lara Spencer's hip replacement

gma lara spencer health© Photo: Getty Images

Lara has had a hip replacement

Lara Spencer is a former athlete, keen sportswoman, and lover of fitness, making her health condition that much more surprising.

When she was 47 years old, Lara underwent a hip replacement, something she thought was only for elderly people. "It was so upsetting," Lara said on GMA after she was diagnosed.

"I waited for a long time before I did anything about it or told anyone because it sounds like it's an old person's problem and I just couldn't believe it."

READ: Lara Spencer honors the doctor who nursed her back to health in heartfelt tribute

Exclusive: Lara Spencer opens up about body confidence in revealing interview

The mom-of-two sought advice after she got consistent pain in her right hip. She was also told she had hip dysplasia, making her cartilage more likely to wear down earlier in life.

"It was embarrassing to share and then I realized there is nothing to be embarrassed about," she added. "I have a genetic predisposition for this but if you're athletic and you move, it's happening younger and younger."

Lara's surgery was successful, but she had to undergo months of rehabilitation and urged other people who had been through the same, to do the exercises and work to get back to being fighting fit.

T.J. Holmes depression

gma tj holmes health© Photo: Getty Images

T.J. has been diagnosed with depression

During a segment on GMA in 2020, Dr Jennifer Ashton discussed a New York Times article that claimed men and women differ when they need to seek out emotional support. Women are said to seek support from friends or emotional support groups, while men are not and are more likely to "manifest mood disturbances with anger and violence".

Jennifer then discussed how "in society, we raise our boys with this message that it's not ok for men to have emotions". She then turned to T.J. and asked him if he would seek support from a female friend or a male friend if he were struggling.

T.J. admitted he would turn to a female friend, but also surprised viewers watching by admitting that he was diagnosed with depression several years ago.

gma stars health battles© Photo: Getty Images

Amy was a rock for T.J. during his depression battle

"I go into lockdown, I disappear, I keep to myself," he told Jennifer about his approach to his mental health.

"Several years ago, I was diagnosed with moderately severe depression. I didn't talk to anybody; I didn't mention it for four years," he revealed.

"I didn't go and seek help for it, I just went on because [men] are supposed to be tough, right? I can handle it. [But] if I can't handle and I need help, then something's wrong with me – I don't know why it's in me – I was going through it and didn't talk to anybody."

Thankfully, T.J. admitted that he's "changed now" and is much more open about discussing his mental health struggles, adding: "I think we're doing better about it, some of that taboo is going away."

Ginger Zee's several health battles

gma ginger zee health© Photo: Getty Images

Ginger battles several health conditions

Ginger Zee has made no secret of her battles with her mental health. But it's not only depression that the GMA meteorologist has dealt with as a series of other diagnoses have reared their heads during her life journey.

Ginger suffers from narcolepsy, but she was only diagnosed when she was 21 after she got into three different car accidents after falling asleep behind the wheel. "I couldn't explain why I was falling asleep," she told Narcolepsy 360.

"It wasn't until the third crash when I crossed the medium and almost went onto the other side of the highway that I got help."

In high school, Ginger also battled an eating disorder which saw her drop to a "frightening size," leading her mother to check her into a mental health hospital.

ginger zee weather© Photo: Getty Images

Ginger checked into a mental health facility before her job on GMA

While she gradually recovered, she later admitted: "You'll probably never be completely cured. Anorexia, for you, is something that can be managed but never fully repaired."

Ginger also struggled with depression for many years. In fact, just days before she began her long-standing job at ABC, she checked herself into a mental health hospital to seek help.

Heartbreakingly, Ginger has also attempted suicide and been the victim of serious sexual assault. Following Ginger's last attempted suicide in her twenties, she was diagnosed with severe depression and borderline personality disorder.

The condition affects how the person thinks, feels, and interacts with other people.

Now she attempts to beat down the stigma attached to depression and mental health by being open about her own experiences. She still goes to therapy and has "gray days," but says they're not "black" and hopeless anymore.

Read more HELLO! US stories here 

Like this story? Sign up to our HELLO! newsletters to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Health & Fitness

See more