Five years after beating breast cancer, Robin Roberts has revealed she is now battling a blood and bone marrow disease called myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, that stems from her previous cancer treatment. The Good Morning America anchor fought back tears as she made the announcement on Monday’s broadcast. Roberts, 51, said she will begin treatment later today. A bone-marrow transplant will follow in late summer or early fall.
Roberts also wrote about her diagnosis on the GMA website. “Today, I want to let you know that I’ve been diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome. It’s a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia,” she wrote.
“My doctors tell me I’m going to beat this — and I know it’s true,” Roberts continued. “If you Google MDS, you may find some scary stuff, including statistics that my doctors insist don’t apply to me. They say I’m younger and fitter than most people who confront this disease and will be cured.”
“Today, I will start what is known as pre-treatment — chemotherapy in advance of a bone marrow transplant later this year. Bone marrow donors are scarce and particularly for African-American women. I am very fortunate to have a sister who is an excellent match, and this greatly improves my chances for a cure. As you know from my recent interview with Mark Zuckerberg, organ donation is vitally important. Many people don’t realize they can be bone marrow donors. I encourage everyone to sign up on a donor registry like bethematch.org,” Roberts wrote.
“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,” she added. “Going forward, it’s business as usual at GMA, which means I’ll be right here every day with George, Sam, Josh and Lara. When I miss a day here or there, I’m fortunate that some very talented friends at ABC News will fill-in. When I undergo the transplant later this year, I’ll miss a chunk of time.”
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