updated 03/21/2014 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/21/2014 AT 4:00 PM ET
“She and I actually sit in the exact same seat. Where she had chemo for breast cancer, I’m having chemo,” Robach told PEOPLE at Thursday’s National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s 19th Annual benefit in New York City, where she and husband Andrew Shue caught up with industry friends and colleagues.
“When [Robin] found that out, without any cameras or any hoopla, she surprised me and met me at my first round of chemo and walked me to her chair,” Robach says. “So we have a special bond that will always be there.”
Robach says Roberts also provides encouraging company on the GMA set: “When I show up to work each day, she’s sitting there. Knowing she did what she did It makes me feel empowered.”