Photo Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/FilmMagic
Good Morning America cohost Robin Roberts announced Monday that she'll begin her medical leave next week.
Back in June, the 51-year-old anchor told viewers that after beating breast cancer, she was now facing another health challenge: a rare blood disorder called Myelodyslplastic Syndrome. Doctors are treating her condition with a mixture of chemotherapy and an upcoming bone marrow transplant from her big sister, Sally. Earlier this month, Roberts abruptly took some time off because she was feeling the effects of the grueling treatment regimin. But she was back last week, assuring viewers "I've got a full tank, so watch out!" According to GMA's Dr. Richard Besser, Roberts' doctors "expect Robin to be cured."
In the meantime, she's shown a commendable willingness to share her challenges with viewers. "Robin, you have drilled into us that great phrase that life is a journey not a destination," said cohost George Stephanopoulos. "And this week we are bringing a lot of our GMA family into your journey."
To that end, GMA will report stories of others fighting this disease and share Roberts' own experience with viewers. "So many people have questions about what exactly is this, and what is a bone marrow transplant, and we've been talking about donors a lot," Roberts said. "It's been quite a journey so far."
Her strength and good humor was even more evident when she gave viewers a glimpse at how her medical leave is affecting her home life. Over the weekend, Roberts tweeted that she'd handed over her beloved Jack Russell Terrier, K.J., to some friends in Maine for the time being. "When you have a bone marrow transplant, you don't have an immune system for a while and you're very susceptible to infection, and having a dog coming in and out, in out and…so that was tough."
In magazine and news profiles, Roberts has often discussed her bond with K.J. It's tidbits like this one that make Roberts so relatable and a great inspiration for others dealing with serious health issues. GMA viewers are lucky to have her.
Doctor estimate that Roberts will be out for about four months. In that time, GMA producers will fill her seat with various high-profile news anchors. According to TMZ, the network has reached out to Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson, Barbara Walters, Chris Cuomo, Connie Chung and Joan Lunden as possible fill-ins.