“Good Morning America” fans will be without their a.m. greeting from Robin Roberts after this week. After announcing in July that she would be taking an extended medical leave, People magazine reports that Roberts’ last day will be this Friday, August 31st.
The morning show host suffers from myelodysplastic syndrome which is commonly called “MDS”. When most of Americans will be enjoying their Labor Day at backyard barbecues, Roberts will be preparing to undergo a bone marrow transplant.
Roberts stated, “It’s rare to have MDS and mine was because of complications from the breast cancer treatment.” Roberts fought breast cancer just five years ago.
ABC reports that as Robin prepares for her bone marrow transplant, her doctor will appear live on “GMA” this week to discuss her treatment, procedure and recovery process.
According to People, Robert’s sister, Sally is her bone marrow donor. Not everyone is lucky enough to find a match. It’s certainly not as easy as finding the right blood type.
In fact, according to “Be the Match”, seventy percent of patients don’t have matching donors in their families and need to find an unrelated adult donor or cells from donated umbilical cord blood. “Be the Match” is an organization that helps match donors to recipients. The program has more than 9.5 million potential donors and nearly 165,000 available cord blood units.
Even though the organization has received tremendous support since Roberts announced she had MDS, many people still don’t know how easy and rewarding it is to become a bone marrow donor states CEO Dr. Jeffrey Chell.
“This is truly an amazing gift,” not only for the recipient but to the donor, Chell said. “Donors say their lives have been transformed by this altruistic act. They think of themselves differently. Their family thinks of them differently. How many people can say they’ve saved someone’s life?”
“This is a need for more donors,” Chell said. “The type of matching we do is very complex and precise. It’s so important that people join the registry [and] be committed to being on that registry.”
There’s a song that puts things like this in perspective. It goes something like this: “What would you do if this happened to you? You’ve got to think about it that way… because if we can’t help someone who’s in need, then what good are we anyway?”
Robin Roberts will be missed on the morning talk show but, everyone will be more than happy to welcome her back as soon as she is well.
Ever the optimist, Roberts shared, “I am very blessed. Forty percent of Americans can’t even take a sick day and here, I know that I’m going to have a job when I come back.”
For viewers who wish to continue to say “Good Morning” to Roberts, beginning next Thursday her team of doctors will post updates on her recovery and fans will be able to leave personal messages for her.
As Pink would say, “Raise your glass.” Here’s to Sally for her generous gift of life and to Robin for her inspirational courage.