ABC's Good Morning America host Robin Roberts made a heartbreaking announcement Monday when she announced that she has been diagnosed with a rare blood and bone-marrow disorder called MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), and will undergo a bone marrow transplant.
Speaking on Good Morning America and writing on her blog, Roberts said the disease was once called preleukemia, and is a complication from the treatment she received to beat breast cancer in 2007.
America watched and prayed with Roberts as she battled breast cancer with courage and dignity. She worked through the hard times; letting America in on her private moments like when she decided to shave off her remaining hair, allowing the camera's in to show the process and her honest reactions.
In those years of battling cancer, Roberts showed courage and inspired countless women and men suffering her same fate. Owing her strength and courage to God, she never hesitated in putting God front and center in her battle.
On the Good Morning America website, Roberts wrote that, while there are some "scary" statistics about the disease, her doctors have told her she is young and fit enough to beat it.
Roberts made the announcement toward the end of the show, surrounded by her co-hosts and former co-host Diane Sawyer (whom she called "my Thelma").
Robert's went on to say, "Sometimes treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues and that's what I'm facing right now," she said. "The reason I am sharing this with everybody right now is because later today I begin what's known as pre-treatment."
Roberts said that a tube was being put in her arm on the same day of her announcement. "I didn't want you to be concerned if you saw a bandage tomorrow," she said. "It's going to be there to draw blood . . . and also to administer drugs."
She said that she will be "out for a chunk of time" after she receives a bone marrow transplant from her sister, who doctors said was a "perfect match" for her.
Roberts' pledged to overcome the disease with God's help. She didn't back down from referencing God and the strength her belief system afford here.
"I'm going to beat this," she said, choking up. "My doctors say it and my faith says it to me." She received a round of applause at the end of her comments.
"In her blog she wrote, 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 a while 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."
Robin Roberts continues to be an inspiration to women everywhere, from her athletic prowess, to her larger-than-life personality, wit and charm, she shows us how to love our lives and boldly deal with the challenges set before us.
No doubt America will be watching and praying for Robin Roberts. In her own way she is teaching us all how to walk by faith and not by sight.
Gail can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org