Robin Roberts Health News: Difficult, Yet Inspiring | Reader's Digest

Robin Roberts’ Health News: Difficult, Yet Inspiring

By Lauren Gelman

Like millions of other GMA fans, I was so saddened to hear Robin Roberts’ announcement this morning that she has myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood disorder that used to be called “preleukemia.” But Roberts, who beat breast cancer five years ago, continues to have nothing but the most uplifting attitude about her diagnosis, which she spoke about in a strong, but emotion-tinged voice on the show.

Roberts is starting a chemotherapy today to prepare for a bone marrow transplant later this summer (her sister will be her donor), and one hematologist/oncologist told HealthDay News that given Roberts’ age (she’s 51), the procedure carries pretty serious risks and offers only a 30 to 40 percent cure rate. She’ll also have to take several months’ leave from GMA. Yet it’s the only real treatment option for MDS, and if anyone can beat this—especially with a positive attitude and no shortage of support—it’s Robin Roberts, who said this morning:

“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.”

She also said she would “focus on the fight and not the fright,” which really spoke to me. And clearly, she moved others too.