Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, who beat breast cancer five years ago, announced on air this morning that she’ll undergo chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant after being diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome.
An emotional Roberts told the audience that her older sister is “a virtually perfect match” and will be her donor.
ABC News shared on its Web site a note that Roberts wrote to staffers, detailing that her MDS — formerly referred to as prelukemia — is likely the result of having undergone breast-cancer treatment, and that she received her diagnosis “on the very day that Good Morning America finally beat [NBC's Today] for the first time in 16 years.
“Then a few weeks ago, during a rather unpleasant procedure to extract bone marrow for testing,” Roberts continued, “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.”
Roberts added that while a Google search of MDS will yield “some scary stuff,” her doctors insist statistics on the disease do not apply to her. “They say I’m younger and fitter than most people who confront this disease and will be cured,” she wrote.
Roberts maintained that it will be “business as usual” and that she will remain in the anchor chair in the coming months at GMA, with some “very talented friends at ABC News” filling in when she misses the occasional day. In late summer or fall, when she undergoes her bone-marrow transplant, she’ll miss “a chunk of time.”
“I am going to beat this,” Roberts said on air. “My doctor say it and my faith says it to me.”