Robin Roberts from Good Morning America recently went to the hospital for a “tune up” of sorts that had an emotional toll on her. However, she has said that she is thankful for a lot of things as she moves on with her recovery from the bone marrow transplant she had on September 20th. Roberts also is thankful for the support she has gotten from her fans, friends and family as she is embracing her second chance at life where many are not so fortunate.
Robin is recovering from being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow and can sometimes be associated to as pre-leukemia. Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La, says, “Myelodysplasia is a condition in which the bone marrow doesn’t function properly.”
Basically, the bone marrow is not able to generate enough mature blood cells, such as white blood cells to fend off infection and red blood cells to carry oxygen to different parts of the body. Roberts received a bone marrow transplant to treat the disorder. Her sister, Sally-Ann, was the donor and the procedure took place 61 days ago.
The first 100 days are crucial to Robert’s recovery as her body attempts to rebuild itself since the transplant wipes the immune system. Roberts did an interview for “Good Morning America” and it was taped from the hospital last Friday. A portion was aired on Tuesday’s show where she said, “I have to admit…I thought we would be doing this interview in my home. We’re here in the hospital, just a little tune-up, check under the hood, kick the tires a little bit.” The “GMA” co-host had to briefly be checked into the hospital because medication used to treat a common latent virus was not effective.
She talked about her transplant and said, “When I think of that moment and what it was like, you can say rebirth, to be reborn. It’s a new beginning. It’s like you gave me life…You gave me life. And I look at it as a clean slate and how many people can say at this point in their life that they get a do over? That they get a chance to start again? And that’s how I feel, that in many ways I am starting again.”
As the days went by after the transplant, Roberts felt confident it had worked and explained why she thought so. “It was brutal those first couple weeks after the transplant. And I remember the doctors telling me ‘we don’t have to tell you when it’s working, you’re going to tell us by how you feel. ’And just like that it was ten days later, woke up and was like ‘where y’all been!’” she said. “And I’m so grateful for the medical science that we have, but it was your cells in my body that made me better. That’s when I knew.”
She also talked about the loss of her mother, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts, this past August, and what life has been like without her. “This is the first time that I have been through any traumatic experience without her physically being here, and it has weighed on me,” Roberts told her sister, who asked if she thought their mother fought to stay alive to not only say goodbye but to be sure her daughters would be okay. “I do believe it was her way of making sure that all of her children could be taken care of. She was there when I took my first breath and what an honor it was to be there when she took her last.”
She also added, “I truly believe that she knew that she was not able to do the work that she wanted to do as mom here in her physical vessel. And so she found a way to be with me,” Roberts said while fighting back tears.
Of course, Roberts knew that her progress was helped by knowing her fans supported and prayed for her well-being. “I felt the prayers. From New Orleans, to Seattle, to Hartford, all across this country I have felt these prayers, and I mean truly in my soul have felt them and I am eternally grateful for that. So for people going through it, surround yourself with prayer warriors and people who know you will do this.”
Despite the emotional toll it took having to be hospitalized for a brief time, she kept a positive outlook and described her stay in the hospital in her own way. “Its“just a little tune-up, check under the hood, kick the tires a little bit. And uh, it’s not a journey that goes like this, it’s a journey that zigzags and there are complications and things like that. But I feel good, I feel stronger every day, I’m past the halfway mark for the hundred days, which is the most critical portion of the time, so I am blessed.”
With Roberts continuing to make strides in her recovery, she is also taking things in stride and celebrates reaching any milestones that come along. One of these milestones happened on Friday – her 52nd birthday. She celebrated it with a hopeful and inspiring outlook on life as well as the challenges that have come her way.
While in the hospital, she repeated how grateful she was for a second chance and how each day she feels a little bit stronger. Besides that, she added, “My great doctor … told me recently I’m going to get to go to early bird special. I’m going to get to go out and be around people!”
Robin Roberts Bone-Marrow Transplant, MDS Treatment Update
The “GMA” Anchor wrote about how she is doing after a brief stay back in the hospital.
Robin Roberts Update Interview with Sister Sally-Ann on MDS-Bone Marrow Treatment
The “GMA” anchor talks about her bone-marrow transplant with her donor sister.