(June 15, 2012) Nearly five years after successfully battling breast cancer, “Good Morning America” (GMA) host Robin Roberts has announced that she has been diagnosed with a bone marrow disease.
Roberts, 51, broke the news June 11 on the ABC show and explained that she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone marrow disease.
“I'm like everyone who faces some type of life-altering situation…it’s about getting up off the mat and fighting and that’s what I plan to do,” Roberts said.
She told viewers that she was scheduled to begin pretreatment that same day and would receive a bone marrow transplant from her sister later this year.
While Roberts described her sister as a “perfect match,” statistics show that African Americans generally have a harder time finding marrow donors, according to the National Marrow Donor Program.
On the Be the Match Registry, Whites have a nearly 93 percent chance of finding a perfect match, but for African-Americans and other minorities, the chances of finding a match can be as low as 66 percent.
Despite the grim information about her condition, Roberts has remained optimistic.
“My doctors tell me I’m going to beat this and I know it’s true," she said. “In facing this new challenge, I ask humbly for more of your prayers and love—as I will keep you in mine and update you regularly on my condition.”
Roberts will continue to host GMA until she undergoes her transplant later this year. After the procedure, she said she'll miss “a chunk of time.”
In 2007, Roberts battled and defeated breast cancer. She said her latest ailment could have been brought on by treatment for her past illness.