Robin Roberts diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome

Robin Roberts GMA

For my money, the very best morning news host, Robin Roberts, of Good Morning America has revealed that she’s been diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome. This is a medical problem that came about from breast cancer treatment she received approximately 5 years ago.

The candid Roberts posted a statement explaining what has happened to her and why she fully intends on beating MDS, a disease of the blood and bone marrow that was once called pre-leukemia.

Here is a portion of Robin’s explanation:

My doctors tell me I’m going to beat this — and I know it’s true.

If you Google MDS, you may find some scary stuff, including statistics that my doctors insist don’t apply to me.  They say I’m younger and fitter than most people who confront this disease and will be cured.

Today, I will start what is known as pre-treatment -– chemotherapy in advance of a bone marrow transplant later this year. Bone marrow donors are scarce and particularly for African-American women.  I am very fortunate to have a sister who is an excellent match, and this greatly improves my chances for a cure.  As you know from my recent interview with Mark Zuckerberg, organ donation is vitally important. Many people don’t realize they can be bone marrow donors.  I encourage everyone to sign up on a donor registry like

I received my MDS diagnosis on the very day that Good Morning America finally beat the Today Show for the first time in 16 years.  Talk about your highs and lows!  Then a few weeks ago, during a rather unpleasant procedure to extract bone marrow for testing, I received word that I would interview President Obama the next day. The combination of landing the biggest interview of my career and having a drill in my back reminds me that God only gives us what we can handle and that it helps to have a good sense of humor when we run smack into the absurdity of life.

Sally-Ann Roberts to donate marrow to sister Robin Roberts
^Sally-Ann Roberts to donate marrow

Everything about those words reflects why I have so much respect for Robin. She’s tactful and is always looking for a reason to help explain things, to let those of us around her understand the world a little better.

I’m grateful that she does have a sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, who will be able to donate her marrow and I also believe Roberts when she says plaintively, “I’m going to beat this.”

You can read her full statement here.

Photo: Mr Blue/