On Monday, Robin Roberts announced that she was diagnosed with a rare blood and bone-marrow disorder named MDS. She also said that she will need to undergo a bone marrow transplant. Roberts made her announcement on ‘Good Morning America’ and then elaborated on a blog post she wrote. Roberts mentioned that the disease used to be called preleukemia and said it is a complication from treatment received to defeat breast cancer back in 2007. Roberts wrote on the website for ‘GMA’ that doctors told her she is fit and young enough to beat the disease even though it has scary statistics.
“Sometimes treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues and that’s what I’m facing right now,” Roberts said on the show. “The reason I am sharing this with everybody right now is because later today I begin what’s known as pre-treatment.”
On Monday afternoon, Roberts said that she would have a tube added to her arm. “I didn’t want you to be concerned if you saw a bandage tomorrow,” Roberts said. “It’s going to be there to draw blood … and also to administer drugs.” Roberts also told viewers she will be ‘out for a chunk of time’ after the procedure is performed. Roberts were be receiving the bone marrow from her sister, who is a ‘perfect match,’ according to her doctors.
“I’m going to beat this,” Roberts said as she tried to hold back her emotions. “My doctors say it and my faith says it to me.” In the blog post she wrote, Roberts elaborated on the diagnosis:
“I received my MDS diagnosis on the very day that Good Morning America finally beat the Today Show for the first time in 16 years. Talk about your highs and lows! Then a few weeks ago, during a rather unpleasant procedure to extract bone marrow for testing, I received word that I would interview President Obama the next day. The combination of landing the biggest interview of my career and having a drill in my back reminds me that God only gives us what we can handle and that it helps to have a good sense of humor when we run smack into the absurdity of life.
Bottom line: I’ve been living with this diagnosis for awhile and will continue to anchor GMA. I love what I do and the people with whom I do it. Along with my faith, family and friends, all of you at ABC News give me the motivation and energy to face this challenge.”
Ben Sherwood, the ABC News president, sent the following note to staff members:
“We love Robin, the heart and soul of ABC News, and we’ll stand arm in arm with her as she fights this new battle,” he wrote. “She is the captain of our ‘GMA’ team; she has been the keystone of our recent victories; and she will lead the program for many years to come.”