Robin Roberts: Winning the Fight Against MDS
Advocacy Robin Roberts stands up to MDS with a positive outlook, passionate support and proactive partnership with her doctors.
As many of you know, 5 years ago I beat breast cancer. I've always been a fighter, and with all of your prayers and support, a winner.
Sometimes the treatment for cancer can cause other serious medical problems. Today, I want to let you know that I've been diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome. It's a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia.
My doctors tell me I'm going to beat this - and I know it's true.
My personal treatment plan
My doctors used chemotherapy to destroy all of my diseased marrow in advance of the bone marrow transplant I underwent. Bone marrow donors are scarce and particularly for African-American women. I am very fortunate to have received my sister’s donation. She is an excellent match and this greatly improves my chances for a cure. As you know from my 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.
"Each day I get stronger and stronger. I am fond of saying, ‘This Too Shall Pass.’ And even in some dark moments, of which there are still a few, I now see that light at the end of the tunnel."
Ups and downs
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 later, 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.
Facing the challenge
Bottom line: I've been living with this diagnosis for a while and will continue to anchor GMA. I love what I do and the people with whom I do it. My faith, family and friends, and all of my colleagues give me the motivation and energy to face this challenge.
Each day I get stronger and stronger. I am fond of saying, ‘This Too Shall Pass.’ And even in some dark moments, of which there are still a few, I now see that light at the end of the tunnel. This too really shall pass.
Love and blessings,