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Al Roker Shares How His Wife Grounded Him in His Battle with Cancer

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Al Roker Shares How His Wife Grounded Him in His Battle with Cancer

By Movieguide® Staff

TODAY meteorologist and host Al Roker said that his wife of 25 years keeps him grounded, especially when he battled prostate cancer last year.

Roker is married to Deborah Roberts, who is a senior national affairs correspondent for ABC News.

“Al calls me a lot throughout the course of the day, just to tell me something very simple or something very silly,” Roberts told PEOPLE of their relationship.

“Sometimes he’s just rambling, and I’m like, ‘Is there a headline here, because I’m in the middle of something,’ and he’ll say, ‘Nope, I just thought I’d call,’ “Roberts continued.

However, Roberts knew something was wrong when Roker did not immediately call his wife after a urology appointment.

“I get in and the doctor closes the door, and he says, ‘I don’t like to have these conversations over the phone,'” Roker, 66, told PEOPLE. “That’s was my first inkling of, ‘Oh wait, what?'”

The doctor diagnoses Roker with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

“He said that was the bad news,” Roker said. “He said that the good news is that it looks like we’d caught it early.”

Roker has three children, his daughter Courtney, 33—from his first marriage—and his daughter, Leila, 22, and son, Nick, 18.

Roberts remembered when Roker broke the news to her and the rest of the family: “My heart just sank to my toes because it never even occurred to me that there was anything serious.”

“When he said, ‘It’s cancer,'” she added, “I just lost it.”

But Roberts attended every appointment with her husband after his diagnosis.

“I just remember just looking at him and…just seeing us in our life and just seeing everything sort of pulsate through you as you were sitting there taking all of this,” Roberts reflected.

“It was very emotional for me,” she continues. “What if he is not going to be here with me much longer? You really let your mind go there, you cherish and you clutch and you hold on.”

Roker added that it was his wife’s support that made the difference in his battle with cancer.

“When somebody you love happens also to be your best advocate, that’s just a bonus,” Roker said. “So that helps you a lot to get through. That can make all the difference.

“She’s been a real rock,” Roker concluded.