Robin Roberts has made her last appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" ahead of a planned medical leave a day earlier than scheduled, citing a last-minute plan to visit her ailing mother.
The 51-year-old co-anchor of the morning show is set to undergo a bone marrow transplant to treat myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood and bone marrow disorder. Roberts revealed her ailment in June, saying it was caused in part by treatments she had undergone for breast cancer five years ago. Her sister, Sally-Ann, is her bone marrow donor.
"I was hoping to be able to wait until tomorrow but this morning will now be my last show for a while before I begin my treatment next week. I'm happy to move up my schedule so I can go home to Mississippi to be with my ailing mother and family that are there in the hurricane zone, Roberts said on Thursday's episode, referring to Tropical Storm Isaac currently pummeling the southern United States."
"Next week I start my treatments for the bone marrow transplant. Our beloved mother, the matriarch of our family, 88 years old has had some health issues recently and it's gotten to a point where Sally-Ann and I need to get home," she added.
Roberts' doctor, Gail Roboz and sister also appeared on Thursday's show. Roboz is the director of the Leukemia Program at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, where "GMA" is filmed. Sally-Ann works as a anchor for New Orleans TV station WWL-TV.
Martina Mcbride, a friend of Roberts, performed on Thursday's episode of "GMA." During the co-anchor's absence from the show, several celebrities have been scheduled to serve as guest co-hosts.
Roberts announced that the list includes Oprah Winfrey, the cast of ABC's "Modern Family" and actors Chris Rock and Rob Lowe. ABC News personalities Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and Elizabeth Vargas are also expected to fill in for her.
"This morning is a memory I will cherish forever," Roberts Tweeted. "Thank you and bless you. Sally-Ann and I are on our way to be with our beloved mother. X0."