Good Morning America (GMA) talk show co-host Robin Roberts returned home for Thanksgiving Day after a virus following her bone marrow transplant landed her back in the hospital.

Roberts, who received the bone marrow transplant from sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, said the latent virus was causing her no pain, and was only a small, commonly occurring bump in the road after her September procedure.

“Our immune systems usually take care of a virus like this … but mine is only 59 days old,” Roberts said from her blog on the ABC website. “I decided to look at my brief stay as a ‘tune up’ … and then I would be back on the road to recovery. By the grace of God, I am! The virus is under control and my numbers are going back up.”

Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, earlier this year, becoming one of the roughly 10,000 who struggle with the disease annually, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The rare disorders associated with MDS can cause abnormalities in the development of mature red blood cells.

“The immature blood cells, called blasts, do not function normally and either die in the bone marrow or soon after they enter the blood,” said NCI general information about MDS. “This leaves less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to form in the bone marrow.”

The condition can develop on its own but is a result of cancer treatments in cases like Roberts’, who was diagnosed after she successfully completed chemotherapy for breast cancer that was found in 2007.

Roberts is expecting to make a full recovery while at her Manhattan residence. The 51-year-old is due to celebrate her 52nd birthday this month on Nov. 23. 


Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer