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OTRC: Robin Roberts reveals MDS diagnosis, needs bone marrow transplant

Robin Roberts appears in a photo with sister Sally Ann Roberts and Diane Sawyer after announcing her MDS diagnosis on June 11, 2012. (Ida Mae Astute)

Robin Roberts announced on "Good Morning America" on June 11 that she has been diagnosed with a bone marrow and blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome, also called MDS.

The 51-year-old "Good Morning America" anchor said she is starting chemotherapy Monday and that she will be required to get a bone marrow transplant in the summer or fall. Roberts said that her older sister Sally Ann Roberts is a "virtually perfect match" and will be a donor. The chemotherapy is a preparatory treatment for the bone marrow transplant.

Roberts was treated for breast cancer five years ago and she said it was that treatment which contributed to her current diagnosis.

"My doctors tell me I'm going to beat this, and I know it's true," Roberts said after her initial announcement on the morning new program.

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

The newswoman learned about her diagnosis the same day "Good Morning America" beat the "Today" show in the ratings for a week for the first time in 16 years. Roberts also had bone marrow extracted when she landed an interview with President Barack Obama when he announced his support for same-sex marriage.

"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 adversity of life," Roberts said.

Michelle Obama Tweeted about Roberts' condition to her followers on June 11 saying, "@RobinRoberts, Barack and I have you in our prayers. We believe in you and thank you for bringing awareness and hope to others."

Between 80 percent and 90 percent of MDS patients develop it when they're over age 60, according to the American Cancer Society.

"Going forward, it's business as usual at GMA, which means I'll be right here every day with George, Sam, Josh and Lara," Roberts said in a statement. "When I miss a day here or there, I'm fortunate that some very talented friends at ABC News will fill-in. When I undergo the transplant later this year, I'll miss a chunk of time."

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