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Entries in Robin Roberts (17)

Thursday
May232013

Robin Roberts to Pen Memoir

Ida Mae Astute/ABC(NEW YORK) -- ABC’s Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts will write a memoir about her recent experience battling a rare blood disorder.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 52-year-old veteran anchor is working on the currently untitled book, which will be published by Grand Central Publishing in April 2014.

"I am humbled that many have an interest, and draw strength from my on-going journey," Roberts said in a statement. "I'm grateful for the prayers and well wishes of so many people. I’m thrilled that [publisher] Jamie Raab and Grand Central Publishing will help me tell my story."

This will be Roberts' second book. In 2007, From the Heart, 7 Rules to Live By, was published. The inspirational book later became a New York Times best-seller.

Roberts left the GMA anchor desk for five months after she underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat the blood disorder.  She returned last February.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb222013

Robin Roberts' Fight Against Disease Documented on "20/20" Special

ABC/Fred Lee(NEW YORK) -- On Wednesday, Robin Roberts made her triumphant return to ABC's Good Morning America, five months after she underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder.  The network will give us an inside look into her fight against myelodysplastic syndrome in a 20/20 special airing Friday night.

Robin's Journey, airing at 10 p.m. Eastern time, documents personal moments in Roberts' battle, including her pre-transplant treatment and her hospitalization.  It will feature her ABC News colleagues Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer.

Roberts tells ABC News Radio she doesn't recall some of the moments in the special because she was "out of it" at the time.  She adds that the program was tough for her to watch: "There were some parts I just had to zip through and say, I don't want to remember.  But it's important to."

It's important, she says, because the special can serve as an educational tool for viewers and help them "be better aware" in the event someone in their life goes through a similar battle.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb202013

Robin Roberts on First Day Back at "GMA": 'It Felt So Right'

Heidi Gutman/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Robin Roberts made her return to morning TV Wednesday, once again saying "Good morning America" to viewers, 174 days after she underwent a bone marrow transplant.

"I keep pinching myself and I realize that this is real, this is really happening," Roberts, 52, said at the start of the show, surrounded by the GMA anchor team. "Faith, family and friends have brought me to this moment and I am so full of gratitude."

Roberts was greeted with a standing ovation at the Times Square studio from the staff and crew, who exchanged fist bumps with the anchor and cheered as she walked through the studio doors.

Amidst all the excitement, Roberts said she was nervous to be back and said even co-anchor Josh Elliott told her that her voice was “an octave off.”

“I was nervous,” Roberts said after the show. “But it felt good to have butterflies again after all this time … After doing the first block, [it was] like butter, like butter. It felt so right. I felt at ease. In the beginning, I just had this really bad cotton mouth.  We even went to Google to see what to do if you have cotton mouth because I didn’t want to have one of those moments reaching over for the water.”

PHOTOS: Robin Roberts Returns to 'GMA'

Roberts’ GMA return came five months to the day since she underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat the rare blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, and a year after she began to first feel the symptoms of her illness at the 2012 Oscars.

The comeback show kicked off with a special welcome-back message from President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, whom Roberts will interview Friday to discuss the third anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative. The interview will air next week on GMA.

WATCH: The Obamas' Special Message for Robin

The anchor appeared to pick up right where she left off.  Producers placed a red bow on her anchor chair and before the show the GMA anchor team descended upon the desk, smiling for a photo before getting down to business as usual, but with the welcome addition of Roberts.

"Hi! It’s Robin! I have been waiting 174 days to say this... Magma!" she joked, using one of her favorite catchphrases, before exclaiming "Good morning America!" to open the show live on the air.

 

Sporting a close-cropped hairdo, Roberts explained after the show that she decided not to wear a wig on the air because it could have been a distraction for viewers. She also joked that her wig reminds her of the first lady’s now-famous new haircut.

“It was really funny because my hairstylist Petula had a really nice wig. She got it for me in early January. It has bangs and looks just like Michelle Obama, and I knew if I wore it people would say, ‘Huh?’ I couldn’t say, ‘I had it first,’” she said with a laugh. “No one would have believed that.”

Throughout the morning, the Times Square studio buzzed with excitement.  A crowd of fans gathered outside of the studio, waving “TeamRobin” signs, including one in the shape of Robin’s signature wristband.  During a commercial break when Roberts went outside, fans chanted, “Robin! Robin! Robin!”

When asked for their three words to describe the morning, co-anchor Josh Elliott said, “At Long Last.” Lara Spencer said “GREAT Morning America,” and GMA senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski said, “Dream. Inspiring. Courage.”

Social media websites were also flooded with an outpouring of messages welcoming Roberts back. NBC's Today show sent a gift basket to the GMA studio and made a donation to the Be the Match Registry for bone marrow donation in her honor.

Buddy Valastro and the team behind TLC’s Cake Boss created a special cake for the celebration. The red velvet concoction, inspired by the color of her bracelets, is Roberts’ favorite.

“Now that I have [sister Sally-Ann’s] cells, I have a sweet tooth,” Roberts joked on the show. “It’s true. It’s working out really well.”

Roberts’ medical team and her sisters Sally-Ann Roberts -- her bone marrow donor -- and Dorothy Roberts McEwen were at her side to mark the occasion.

“This is a celebration,” Sally-Ann Roberts said on the show. “It brings up to me the tremendous feeling of accomplishment to be able to know that there’s something in your body that can help somebody else -- in my case, my sister.  I just want to get the word out to as many people as possible:  please join the registry.  Please join the Be the Match bone marrow registry because there is somebody out there who could use you.”

Roberts and her doctors – Dr. Gail Roboz of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Dr. Sergio Giralt of New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center -- will now take a day-by-day approach to her recovery and monitor Roberts' body to determine how often she appears on GMA.

“We looked in each other's eyes and we talked about this morning and how I would feel, and I know that a lot of it is adrenaline and I want to see how I feel,” Roberts said, adding she has her next bone marrow test in two weeks. “And he was very honest in saying some of the patients, they go back a little too soon and then the next morning they can’t get up. But I have to say, physically, I have better platelets than Sally-Ann right now, so I’m very grateful.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb202013

How Robin Roberts Prepared to Return to "Good Morning America"

Heidi Gutman/ABC(NEW YORK) -- ABC's Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts made her much-anticipated return to the show Wednesday morning, exactly five months after she went away on medical leave to get treatment for a rare blood disorder.

"I keep pinching myself and I realize that this is real.  This is really happening," Roberts, 52, said.  "Faith, family and friends have brought me to this moment and I am so full of gratitude."

"There’s so many people that I want to thank throughout the morning, my doctors and nurses and family and colleagues and people who have sat in this chair and those who have blazed the trail before me," she added.

Roberts, underwent a bone marrow transplant in September to treat myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, a rare blood disorder.  She received donor cells from her sister, Sally-Ann.

Since then, she’s been working with her medical team -- and doing yoga and lifting light weights -- to get her recovery on track.

“I just love how much stronger I feel,” Roberts said.  “I love it.  It's so exciting.”

Staffers at GMA did their part to ensure a safe return for Roberts.  There were voluntary flu shots -- Roberts' immune system is still vulnerable to infection -- and her dressing room and workspace were diligently cleaned.

Roberts eased into her return by doing a test run of sorts last month.  She did a rehearsal in the show’s Times Square studio, surrounded by a large group of people and bright studio lights.  The result of that rehearsal would let her doctors know if she was strong enough to return to work.

She was ecstatic when her doctors approved her return, but she also acknowledged that she was nervous.

“I haven’t done live television since the end of August,” she said, speaking to her fellow GMA anchors in an interview that aired on the show Monday.  “So I’m a little bit nervous, …  but you got my back, … that’s what I’m not nervous about. … I know that you have my back.”

In a blog that she wrote earlier this month, Roberts thanked the public for its prayers and support, writing, “Your compassion has been an enormous source of comfort to me and my family.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb202013

"Good Morning America" Welcomes Robin Roberts Back Wednesday

ABC/Fred Lee(NEW YORK) -- Wednesday will be a warm welcome home for ABC's Robin Roberts, who returns to Good Morning America after a five-month absence.

Roberts left the show after being diagnosed with myelodysplatic syndrome, a rare blood and bone marrow disease.  Roberts, a breast-cancer survivor, received a bone marrow transplant from her sister, whose stem cells turned out to be a perfect match.  Though the 52-year-old anchor tells People magazine that her vision is blurry and she still has what she calls "chemo brain," Roberts says she's more than ready to return to the show, and her co-workers are thrilled to have her back.

"I miss her energy. I miss her smile. I miss her leadership," GMA's Lara Spencer tells ABC News Radio. "I cannot wait until she's back on the set just because, honestly, she makes us laugh. She's a dear, dear friend and she truly is the leader of the show. And Wednesday it all begins again. I can't believe it!"

Spencer says that there was never any fear that Roberts would end up staying out of work longer than five months, because before she left, she told her co-workers exactly when she'd be back: by the Academy Awards, which are this Sunday.

"Robin gave us the date...of the Oscars," Spencer says, recalling that day in May when Roberts told the GMA team about her diagnosis.  "She was like, 'I will be back.' And listen, if Robin says it, I would believe it if I were you! And sure enough, here we are."

But while Roberts' return to the show is cause for much celebration, Spencer says that Roberts doesn't want people to make a fuss over her. "Robin has given us strict instructions to keep it normal," Spencer tells ABC News Radio. "She doesn't want it to feel different. She doesn't want people to be too precious with her."

Spencer adds, "She wants us to obviously be careful and she can't get around to many people, but she really wants that normalcy. She calls it getting back in the saddle."

What viewers won't see, says Spencer, are any long, teary-eyed looks back at the struggle that Roberts went through.  Roberts shared with People magazine that at one point during treatment, "I truly felt I was slipping away," but Spencer says there'll be none of that.

"Starting Wednesday what you're going to see on the show is a celebration," she says. "We're not looking back at the fear or the sadness of it all. We're looking forward at the fact that [Robin's] come through it and she's better than ever."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb192013

Robin Roberts Says She’s Visualizing Return to "GMA" Anchor Chair

Ida Mae Astute/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Robin Roberts will return to ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder, and says she has imagined the moment she will take her seat in the anchor chair again.
 
“I have visualized this moment,” Roberts, 52, told her GMA co-anchors in a candid conversation.  “It’s something like this, looking into Sam’s blue eyes. …I love how we’re sitting, how we would be sitting. …But I know when I sit back down, right in this chair, and I look over and I see you and I see you and I see you and I see you, it’s gonna be, all is right in the world.  And it’s gonna seem like no time has passed at all.”
 
Roberts’ comeback to GMA on Wednesday is five months to the day since she underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, a rare blood disorder, and a year after she began to first feel the symptoms of her illness.
 
She will share her personal journey battling MDS on a special edition of ABC's 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET.  
In a preview of the conversation with George Stephanopoulos, Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer and Sam Champion that took place a few weeks ago, the anchors raised a glass to Roberts, and she opened up to them about her recovery and return.

“I remember when the doctor first told me, ‘You’re gonna be out, you know, five to six months,’ and I was like, ‘Ahhh!’ Screaming, Oh my god!” Roberts said to laughter from the gang.  “You have to do what you need to do, and it just shows people that time passes.  This too shall pass.”

When asked by Elliott if she’s nervous, Roberts said, “Oh yeah,” but added that it “feels great to feel the nerves again.”
 
“We got ya.  We got ya,” Spencer assured.
 
“I haven’t done live television since the end of August,” Roberts said, “So I’m a little bit nervous, …  but you got my back, … that’s what I’m not nervous about. … I know that you have my back.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb132013

Robin Roberts Says She's Feeling Stronger Every Day

Ida Mae Astute/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Robin Robert, the co-ancher of ABC's Good Morning America, has been recovering from a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder and she’s feeling stronger every day.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Roberts said, speaking of her improved health to People magazine for the issue that will hit newsstands on Friday.

She received the transplant in September to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, and said the procedure took its toll on her.

There were times when Roberts couldn’t eat, drink or get out of bed.  She added that there was a point “where I felt like I was dying,” People reported.

Roberts, 52, will return to GMA on Feb. 20 and will be featured on a special edition of ABC's 20/20 on Feb. 22.

Last month she returned to the GMA set for a test run, and has said she's excited for her return to the show.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb072013

Robin Roberts to Return to "Good Morning America" Feb. 20

Ida Mae Astute/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Robin Roberts will return to the Good Morning America anchor desk on Wednesday, Feb. 20, five months to the day since she underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, a rare blood disorder.

“What a difference a year makes,” said Roberts, who began feeling the symptoms of her illness about a year ago.  “I cannot wait to return to my GMA family.  It's going to be an incredible morning in Times Square.  The overwhelming thoughts and prayers of the viewers have played a major part in getting me here today.  I cannot thank everyone enough."

Click here to read a personal note from Roberts.

The official announcement was made Thursday on GMA after Roberts received the all-clear from her doctors.  Her most recent test showed no abnormalities, and over the course of her recovery, the anchor has continued to regain her strength and energy.

Since reaching the critical 100-day benchmark from the bone marrow transplant back in December, she has been counting down the days to her return to the anchor chair.  

In the weeks before Roberts’ return to GMA, the show will spotlight stories of other resilient men and women who are facing similar challenges with MDS and those she has inspired along the way.  Roberts will also share her personal journey on a special edition of 20/20 on Friday, Feb. 22, at 10 p.m., ET.  The hour will offer a candid behind-the-scenes look at Roberts’ experience and those who have drawn hope and courage from her example.

Just last week, Roberts traveled down to her home state of Louisiana with GMA co-anchors Josh Elliott and Sam Champion to see family and friends and enjoy some Super Bowl festivities.  The milestone visit started with a warm welcome by students from her alma mater, Southeastern Louisiana University, and was an important part in her emotional recovery, she explained in a Facebook post.

Roberts also began a series of “dry runs” at the GMA studio in New York City's Times Square last month to start acclimating herself again to the anchor chair, testing the studio lights on her sensitive skin and eyes, and adjusting to those early morning wake-up calls.

"My doctors want me to see how many people I actually come in contact with.  How my body reacts to the stimulation, that's code word for stress, of being in the studio environment," she explained in a live interview from her New York City apartment in January.  "All of this is getting better day by day."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan242013

Robin Roberts Returns to "GMA" Set for First Time for Test Run

Ida Mae Astute/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Robin Roberts made a much anticipated return to the Times Square Studio of ABC's Good Morning America for a behind-the-scenes test run Thursday morning.

Roberts arrived at the studio at 5 a.m. after waking at 3:45 a.m.  It was her first time back on set since undergoing a bone marrow transplant last September.

"What a thrill to be back at GMA's Times Square Studio this morning and see the best folks in the world, my GMA family,” Roberts said.  “I can’t wait to get back to the anchor chair in a few weeks.”

During a live interview from her New York City home last week, Roberts explained that she would be doing a series of “dry runs” that her doctors had approved as the next step in her recovery and on her road to returning to “GMA.

"My doctors want me to see how many people I actually come in contact with.  How my body reacts to the stimulation, that's code word for stress, of being in the studio environment," she explained.

"My skin is very sensitive and so we have to see how it reacts to the studio lights.  My vision is still a little blurry from the treatment," she said, explaining why tests needed to be done off-air.  "All of this is getting better day by day so that is the next step."

Roberts' doctors approved her return to GMA after her most recent test showed no abnormalities.

"What we know now is that we can't see any of the disease that prompted this whole process right now," her oncologist, Dr. Gail Roboz, of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center said on GMA last week.  "That's really, that's what we were looking for."

In late December, Roberts, a breast cancer survivor, celebrated the crucial 100-day benchmark from her bone marrow transplant to treat myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow.  The transplant was a five-minute procedure in which the donor cells from Roberts' sister, Sally-Ann, were injected into Roberts' system through a syringe.

Roberts first announced her diagnosis on GMA in June and has been on medical leave from the morning show since Aug. 30.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan142013

Robin Roberts to Return to "Good Morning America"

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Robin Roberts made a live appearance on ABC's Good Morning America on Monday, announcing plans to return to the show.

“I’m coming home,” Roberts said in a live interview from her New York City apartment.  “We’re talking now a matter of weeks, not months.”

Roberts announced that her most recent test, 138 days after the bone marrow transplant she underwent in September, showed no sign of abnormality, meaning she can begin the process of returning to GMA.

“I’m so happy to be sharing this news with everybody,” Roberts said.  “We’re going to take it step by step…I’m listening to my doctors.  I’m taking everything into account but this is a next step and I’m so excited to be sharing it with everyone.”

Roberts, a former ESPN anchor, likened the process of her return to an athlete coming off the injured reserve list, easing their way back into the game as opposed to jumping into the starting lineup.

“Part of the process of reentry is I got up at 4 a.m. this morning,” Roberts said.  “That’s one thing I have not missed is that alarm clock.”

Roberts told her fellow anchors she will be doing a “dry run” next week, coming to the GMA studio in Times Square and going through hair and makeup but staying off-air as she adjusts to being back in her surroundings.

“My skin is very sensitive and so we have to see how it reacts to the studio lights.  My vision is still a little blurry from the treatment,” she said.  ”All of this is getting better day by day so that is the next step.”

“After I go through this dry run, my doctors will sit down with me again and we’ll evaluate where I am,” Roberts said.  “I should be back sometime in February.  Now, I have a date in mind that’s very personal and very important to me but I will ultimately listen to, of course, what my doctors say and, of course, we have to remember we’re in the height of flu season.  There’s a lot of factors still.”

Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical editor who has been working with Roberts throughout her treatment, also highlighted the importance of protecting Roberts from the flu.

“Her immune system, what protects her from infections, is still rebuilding,” he said Monday on GMA.  “She can’t get a flu shot yet.  Her body won’t respond to that.  It’s not affecting it, which is why it’s important for other people to get that flu shot to protect her and I can’t tell you how many people here at Times Square studio have told me this is the first year they got a flu shot and they got it for Robin.”

Roberts took to Twitter last week, writing, “See you VERY soon,” to her fellow GMA anchors, prompting speculation about her return to GMA.  In a blog post, entitled “Wonderful Wednesday,” she shared the “very encouraging news” that her doctors are pleased with her recovery.

“I am excited but there’s a range of emotions,” Roberts said on Monday.  “I haven’t been live on television since the end of August.  My heart is beating so fast right now but, you know what, it means I’m alive, I’m alive and I’m so grateful to be excited as I am and I can’t wait to be back.”

In late December, Roberts celebrated the crucial 100-day benchmark, a milestone in her recovery from the September bone marrow transplant, according to her doctor, Dr. Gail Roboz, the oncologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

“What we know now is that we can’t see any of the disease that prompted this whole process right now,” Roboz said.  “That’s really, that’s what we were looking for.  For right now, did we get rid of what we started out getting rid of?”

Roberts, a breast cancer survivor, underwent the transplant to treat Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS, a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow.  The transplant was a five-minute procedure in which the donor cells from Roberts' sister, Sally-Ann, were injected into Roberts' system through a syringe.

Roberts first announced her diagnosis on GMA in July and has been on medical leave from the program since Aug. 30.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio