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Robin Roberts: Your Incredible Courage Facing MDS Is Inspirational

Mon, June 11, 2012 4:26pm EDT by Bonnie Fuller 18 Comments
Robin Roberts Leaving GMA

Robin – I’m so glad that there is no thought of you leaving ‘GMA.’ Your courageous determination to face your disease and beat it is inspiring to anyone who has ever faced adversity.

Robin Roberts – If ever there was a time to be “in it to win it,” it is now. And you made it very clear on GMA this morning, June 11, that you will conquer the blood and bone marrow disease you’ve been diagnosed with – myelodysplastic syndrome, also known as MDS.

Anyone who watched you break your heartrending news to your audience had to admire your strength and composure. Your voice was strong even as tears began falling from your eyes.

You were honest and direct explaining that as a result of your treatment from breast cancer five years ago you had developed a second very serious condition that would require a bone marrow transplant.

“Bottom line I am going to beat this. My doctors say I can do it and my faith says it,” you told us.

And you definitely do have reason to be optimistic according to Dr. Michael Weiner, professor and director of Pediatric Oncology and vice-chair of the department of pediatric Oncology at Columbia University Medical Center. ” It’s a tough treatment with six to eight weeks in the hospital. It is like going to hell and back but there’s a good possibility that she’ll be cured.. Bone marrow transplants are far better today than ten years ago.”

Robin – instead of dwelling on anything frightening or negative despite the fact that you have received very frightening news – you immediately focused on the positive. You explained that you have a virtually perfect bone marrow match – your older sister, Sally-Ann, who was there in the studio holding tight to Diane Sawyer’s hand and whispering up to the heavens – “Thank you.”

“I’m like everyone else who faces some life altering situation. It’s about getting up off the mat and fighting,” you told your audience.

And those words are so meaningful to all of us because everyone at some point in their life faces news that will knock them flat on their backs. You are now for the second time in your life receiving that kind of devastating news.

I know what it’s like and how hard it is to even breathe when you have the floor give way beneath you, like that. It happened for me when my daughter Leilah was diagnosed with leukemia when she had just turned five years old. You feel like your world is collapsing and it is so hard to think, see, hear and even stand.

That’s why, your ability to stay composed, share your news with millions of people and speak so eloquently about focusing on “the fight, not the fright,” is so impressive.

I’m also so impressed by how the GMA and ABC team has rallied around you. George Stephanopoulos is clearly devastated and told you “I’m in awe of the way you’ve handled this,” Richard Besser, GMA’s senior medical and health editor held your hand throughout the segment, Diane Sawyer, the anchor of ABC World News, who you described as your “Thelma,” was in the studio holding your sister’s hand and even Anne Sweeney, the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and President of the Disney-ABC Television Network, was there to support you.

“We’re a team – it is OUR fight, it is not your fight,” Richard Besser told you.

Robin – that’s how we all feel. All of us who watch you, admire you, will be sending you our daily prayers and admiring your strength as you continue co-hosting for as long as your health permits before your transplant.

Thank you again for sharing your great challenge. We know you WILL beat this!

Now, Hollywoodlifers – share your best wishes with us and Robin by commenting below.

Bonnie Fuller

More Robin Roberts

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