Robin Roberts from Good Morning America announced on Monday that she was diagnosed with MDS or myelodsyplastic syndrome, a blood and bone marrow disorder formerly known as preleukemia.
Five years ago, in 2007, Robin Roberts revealed she had breast cancer and beat it with surgery. She revealed the new diagnosis is linked to her previous health issues.
“My doctors tell me I’m going to beat this — and I know it’s true,” Robin Roberts wrote in an open letter posted on GMA online.
Robin Roberts will continue to anchor “Good Morning America” while she is receiving treatment. She will have to miss some work when she has her initial transplant, but for the time being it’s going to be “business as usual at GMA. I’ll be right here every day with George, Sam, Josh and Lara,” Robin Roberts wrote. “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.”
Her “pre-treatment” chemotherapy started Monday, June 11, 2012 to prepare her for the bone marrow transplant she’ll be receiving later in the year from her sister.
“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,” Robin Roberts said.
Robin Roberts also added, “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.”
Between 15,000 and 18,000 cases of MDS are diagnosed each year in the United States, with tens of thousands more people living with the disease. With that, around 10,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a blood-related disorder every year, according to the National Marrow Donor Program. Usually the best treatment is a bone marrow transplant. During the transplant procedure, a donor’s stem cells are directly transfused into the other patient’s bloodstream. Then the patient’s new cells will multiply and create bone marrow that’s healthy.
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