Less than 48 hours after being inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Good Morning America host Robin Roberts announced she facing another serious health battle. This morning in an emotional and tearful close to GMA, Robin shared with America that she has been diagnosed with the rare blood disorder Myelodysplastic Syndrome.
"It is a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow", said Robin as she held the hand of co-anchors Josh Elliott and George Stephanopoulos. "I am going to beat this, my doctors say it and my faith says it too. "
The 51-year-old begins pre-treatment later today and will soon undergo a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately for Roberts, her older sister is a perfect match for the risky surgery.
Stephanopoulos revealed that Robin has known about the diagnosis for a short time. The news came the same day she was scheduled for the historic interview with President Obama. "I've been in awe of the way you have handled this, such professionalism", said Stephanopoulos. "We want you to know we love you, and we know you are going to beat this --and you are going to hit this with all the courage and grace you have shown your whole life."
"When I undergo the transplant later this year, I’ll miss a chunk of time" said Roberts in a letter to fans on ABC.com, "When I faced breast cancer, your prayers and good wishes sustained me, gave me such hope and played a major role in my recovery. In facing this new challenge, I ask humbly for more of your prayers and love – as I will keep you in my mine and update you regularly on my condition."
Roberts has been a huge supporter of women's basketball, prior to GMA she was as the host of ESPN's women's NCAA tournament coverage. The former basketball player for Southeastern Louisiana University has often attributed her success to the game of basketball. Her statement at the end of the GMA was, "focus on the fight, not the fright."Watch our 2010 interview with Robin Roberts