Inside Al Roker’s emotional Thanksgiving as he’s set to miss Macy’s Parade for first time in 27 years amid health battle

4 months ago The US Sun

VETERAN NBC anchor Al Roker has presented the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1995.

He traditionally hosts the festive event alongside Today show co-stars Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.


Today show fans are concerned that veteran anchor Al Roker could miss this year's Thanksgiving Parade

Credit: Getty


The star has fronted the coverage broadcasting the festivities since 1995

Credit: Getty

But, this year, the star's appearance at the New York City parade is in doubt after he was rushed to hospital with blood clots.

Roker’s health has sparked fears among worried fans that he could be forced to watch the Macy’s parade from the sidelines or on TV instead of fronting NBC's coverage.

It would see his long presenting streak come to an end.

One concerned Twitter user said: "If Al Roker isn't doing the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade this year, what is even the point of having Thanksgiving at all."

While others claimed the holiday would have "no meaning" if Roker missed the event.

Today show bosses have not yet confirmed whether Roker will appear or skip the parade.

His co-star Sheinelle Jones appeared to hint that Dylan Dreyer could fill in for the anchor amid his absence.

Earlier this month, Roker was mysteriously absent from the morning show for two weeks before it emerged that he had been taken to hospital.

A source close to the anchor told the U.S. Sun that he hadn’t “been feeling well”.

They added: “He's been off the air for almost two weeks, it's been an ongoing issue [that] he's been dealing with. 

"He's such a wonderful and energetic guy, so it's hard to remember that he's 68 years old.”

Roker’s wife Deborah Roberts, 62, told fans that he had been feeling “under the weather” but was “ok”.

In an Instagram post on November 18, Roker said that he suffered from blood clots in his leg and lungs.

He said: "So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been.

"Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs.

"After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery.


"Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend, everyone."

Fans and friends sent Roker their good wishes as they called on the host to make a speedy recovery.

Guthrie commented: "You’re the strongest person we know. We miss you and will see you soon!!"

Kotb also wrote: "Al Roker-- hurry back to us... counting the days xoxoxo."

Craig Melvin said: “Love you brother… can’t wait to have you back.”

Jenna Bush Hager penned: “Love you Al! Hurry home. You are missed and loved beyond nature."

And, Carson Daly said: “We need him back. He inspires me every day because when I wake up I see him on his treadmill.

“He’s walking here to work. I’m like ‘All right, now I got to exercise.”


Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer also checked in on Roker’s well-being.

She said: “You're an inspiration to us all and definitely one of the most resilient."

Roberts, who is Roker's wife of 20 years, replied: “He is indeed.”

She recently shared some heartwarming snaps of her husband and their kids.

In one selfie, she and Roker were seen beaming in the backyard of their home.

The second image featured a rare photo of the couple and their kids on their daughter's graduation day.

Roberts captioned the post: "You are the shining sun and star in our family, Al. Love you so much. Can’t wait til you’re feeling like your old self."

She also shared a snap of the pair sitting in their garden, captioning it: “Love is the best healer.”

During his recovery, Roker wished President Joe Biden a “very happy” 80th birthday and paid tribute to his pal Jay Leno who suffered burn injuries.

Roker said: “Here’s to a speedy recovery to our friend, Jay Leno, who is one of the most genuine and generous folks on the planet. Get well soon, Jay.”

Weeks before being hospitalized, the anchor revealed how much he was looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday.

He said he was looking forward to reuniting with his son Nick, 19, who is at college.

Roker told Hello: "This Thanksgiving will be a little sweeter because Nick has been away from home for college and I know he’s looking forward to some home cooking and hanging out with his family.

“And we are looking forward to hanging out with him."

The anchor said he hoped to front the parade's coverage before enjoying the rest of the day with the family.

This year's parade is set to feature more than two dozen floats, 16 giant balloons, and a handful of star-studded performances.

Mariah Carey announced on Instagram that she will be opening for Santa Claus at the parade.

She said that her childhood dream is "coming to life".

A-listers such as Paula Abdul, Jordin Sparks, and Sarah Hyland are also set to make an appearance.

Roker revealed that after the parade, his family tends to eat at one of their favorite restaurants before "passing out" at home.

He said: "I still try and make my mother’s sweet potato Poon each year, which is basically a crustless, sweet potato pie with a marshmallow topping."

He revealed that the trick isn't to let the marshmallows catch fire.


Roker’s health battles come just months after he tested positive for coronavirus.

He said it was why he was missing from the network's Hurricane Ian coverage.

Roker reassured fans by saying that his symptoms were not very apparent.

In November 2020, Roker revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Addressing his health battle, he told viewers: “It's a good news-bad news kind of thing.

"Good news is we caught it early. Not great news is that it's a little aggressive, so I'm going to be taking some time off to take care of this."

He revealed that he underwent an operation and paid tribute to his surgeons.

Roker had his prostrate removed along with some surrounding tissue and lymph nodes during a five-hour procedure.

He has confronted previous health scares including a back operation and a hip replacement.


Roker, right, was hospitalized after suffering blood clots

Credit: Instagram


Fans have questioned the meaning of Thanksgiving if Roker is absent

Credit: Getty


It's not known if Roker will appear at this year's parade. Pictured: a Minion balloon is being inflated ahead of the event.

Credit: Getty

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