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Robin Roberts featured in Humans of New York post

Lauren Walck

lwalck@sunherald.com @laurenwalck

Humans of New York

Robin Roberts has been popping up in Coastians' newsfeeds this week thanks to an unexpected -- but very popular -- source.

The Pass Christian native was featured in a Sunday post by Humans of New York, a viral Facebook page with more than 15 million likes.

The page is run by Brandon Stanton, who started out photographing interesting New Yorkers, then began including interesting, funny, or touching quotes from the person photographed.

His success is likely owed to his ability to get strangers to talk about the most personal, and sometimes painful, aspects of their lives.

Each post includes a picture of (at least some part of) the subject and a quote, without any other identifying details.

Roberts interviewed Brandon Stanton for a segment on "Good Morning America." To demonstrate how he works, she volunteered as a test subject.

"I said just use me as a guinea pig," she said. "He had me bawling. He has a way of making you open up."

Roberts' quote reads:

“Before my bone marrow transplant, I had to have my immune system completely wiped out with chemotherapy. I went into the hospital thinking that I was going to do a lot of reading and watch old movies and catch up on work. One thing that I didn’t fully anticipate was the isolation that I’d feel. I knew I’d be physically isolated. The doctors and nurses wore masks so all I could see were their eyes. And nobody touched me unless they were administering medicine. But the pain and weakness brought me to a place where I felt completely alone. I got so weak that I couldn’t even formulate a thought. I dropped to 115 lbs. The pain got so bad that I felt like I’d swallowed a blowtorch. At one point I actually gave up. I made everyone leave my room, even my partner, and I started slipping away. I hallucinated my mother’s voice calling my name. I heard it very distinctly. But when I opened my eyes -- it was my nurse Jenny that was calling me. At the point of my greatest isolation, it was almost as if my mother used Jenny’s voice to call me back.”

In the GMA segment, Stanton asks her, "Can you tell me the single moment in your life that you've felt lost most acutely?"

"I  know this sounds odd -- because I've gone through health, the loss of my health twice, my mom, my dad previously -- when my dog died earlier this year after almost 18 years...

That's the one constant that's been in my life through all the losses that I've had. KJ was the one who got me through. And so it was hard to get out of bed.

I was shocked that out of all the losses, my beloved pet, but it made sense in the end because, talk about unconditional love."

On the Facebook post, Standon said. "It was a bit difficult to approach strangers with such a large crew, so Robin volunteered to let me interview her. She's a wonderful person."

The post had nearly 300,000 likes and 12,000 shares as of Monday night.

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