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Robin Roberts gets bone marrow transplant

'Good Morning America' weather anchor Sam Champion and 'Good Morning America' co-anchor Robin Roberts pose in this September 2012 photo.
September 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
"Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease.

Roberts received the five-minute procedure on Thursday. "Good Morning America" showed a brief video Friday of Roberts in her hospital bed receiving bone marrow from her donor sister, Sally-Ann.

Roberts' oncologist, Dr. Gail Ropoz, said her patient is being monitored to guard against infection and to see that her white blood cell count is increasing.

"People have in their mind all kinds of images of what can happen in a transplant but it's still an incredibly powerful moment," she said on the morning show on Friday. "Inside of that syringe are millions and millions of stem cells that are now circulating around and trying to find their home and start growing which is what we're going to be looking for over the next couple of weeks."

During the procedure, Roberts was surrounded by Sally-Ann and another sister, Dorothy, and other loved ones including "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer and "GMA" weather anchor, Sam Champion.

For 10 days before the treatment, Roberts endured rigorous chemotherapy treatments to prepare her system to accept her sister's cells. Though her sister was a perfect match, Roberts' system will still try to attack the donor cells. Doctors will work to prevent any symptoms of graft vs. host disease, which is a rejection of the bone marrow transplant.

Ropoz said Roberts is in good spirits, even sending the doctor an email Friday saying she wants to go home.

In June, Roberts revealed that she had myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, from complications from the breast cancer treatment she underwent five years ago.

It is not yet known when Roberts will return to the morning show, but she said she will return "as soon as I can."

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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