Robin Roberts Prayer Bracelet
Thursday, August 30 2012 was Robin Roberts’ last day anchoring Good Morning America before taking a medical leave of absence. Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and is receiving a bone marrow donation from her sister, Sally-Ann.
Roberts shared a meaningful quote with viewers, “Life provides losses and heartbreak for all of us, but the greatest tragedy is to have the experience and miss the meaning.”
She said she is determined not to miss the meaning of her illness because during her difficult time, she has discovered many gifts that she’s been given.
Robin Roberts Bracelet for Protection
Robin shared her MDS diagnosis with viewers back in June, and thankfully, her oldest sister Sally-Ann is a perfect match for bone marrow donation. Sally-Ann is an anchor for WWL-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sally-Ann has undergone countless doctor visits and tests to prepare for the donation.
“I don’t feel any fear about the procedure,” Sally-Ann said. “I’m looking forward to when this is all over and going back to my old diet.”
Sally-Ann has been trying to eat healthy because whatever is going into her, will eventually be going into Robin.
Robin says Sally-Ann gives her the gift of family and life. there have been many bonding moments with her sister during car rides to the doctor and doctor visits.
“We must keep our vision on your healing,” Sally-Ann said. “We must focus like a laser on that. We cannot allow our mind to go hither and yon and thinking, ‘Well what could happen?’ No, we have a vision of healing.”
Robin Roberts’ Doctors: Gail Roboz and Sergio Giralt
Robin said her entire family gives her the gift of laughter. The gift of knowledge is given to her by her oncologist, Dr. Gail J. Roboz of New York Presbyterian Hospital and her transplant surgeon, Dr. Sergio Giralt of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
She talked about how people ask her why she’s receiving chemotherapy again, when it was the chemotherapy that lead to MDS the first time. Dr. Giralt said that they are completely wiping out Robin’s stem cells with the chemotherapy in order to replace them with Sally-Ann’s cells, which have never seen chemotherapy.
Robin will possibly get any allergies that Sally-Ann has after she is healed, and she will definitely get her blood type. Dr. Giralt promised Robin that she wouldn’t inherit her sister’s taste in music, which was a relief.
Robin said the gift of giving is being able to raise awareness about becoming a bone marrow donor. She said her mom always says to make your mess your message.
She is also very thankful for the gift of friendship, and says her friends filled her with hope during her trip to Italy. She said she also has friends she’s never met before – viewers at home – cheering her on, and friends behind the scenes at GMA that make it a joy to come to work.
Robin Roberts Wristbands: Prayer for Protection
Robin talked about her Robin Roberts MDS wrist bands with the Prayer for Protection on them: “The light of God surrounds me, the love of God unfolds me, the power of God protects me, the presence of God watches over me, wherever I am, God is.” Visit Be the Match to get your own Robin Roberts bracelet.
She knows her journey will not be an easy one, but she is going to focus on all her gifts.
Sally-Ann Roberts & Dr. Gail Roboz on GMA
Sally-Ann Roberts and Dr. Gail Roboz joined Robin on Good Morning America. Sally-Ann went through the collection process on Tuesday and Wednesday, and wants people to know that the recovery time is very quick.
“I’m feeling just fine,” Sally-Ann said. “My heart is with you right now and it’s also with all the people in my community who are going through Hurricane Issac in New Orleans, and I am praying for all those who are suffering right now as a result of Issac, and I’m feeling so good I’m going to go back on the air on Saturday on my station.”
What is Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)?
“People can’t even say myelodysplastic syndrome let alone understand it,” Dr. Roboz said. “I think the fundamental thing is what is bone marrow anyway? Bone marrow is the factory that makes your blood cells and it can be damaged along the way, it can be damaged by chemotherapy that you got for something totally different, it can be damaged by radiation or sometimes it can be damaged by things that we don’t know what they are, we don’t understand. I think that the majority of MDS patients out there and watching this are thinking, ‘How did I get this? I didn’t do anything. I didn’t get chemotherapy.’”
Robin already went through a mild form of chemotherapy with Dr. Roboz, and didn’t even loose her hair.
“The type of chemotherapy that you got allowed you to be here, looking fabulous, coming to work, not all types of chemo do that,” Dr. Roboz said. “But you remember our conversations – you’ve got to be careful, you’ve got to watch it if you had a symptom that was new, you’ve got to call us right away which you did – it was nothing and that was great but we checked you out pretty carefully.”
Robin Roberts’ MDS Journey
Robin talked about how the next 100 days are so critical, and asked Dr. Roboz to explain the journey.
“The first part when you get into the hospital is scheduled,” Dr. Roboz said. “You’ll have a calendar, an IV put in, there are going to be a few days of chemo and then there is going to be the transplant which is infused through the special IV – it looks like a bag of blood. You wouldn’t really know we were doing anything if we didn’t tell you – you could sleep through the whole thing. After that the schedule gets a little bit less tight and it’s all about you and every patient is different. We look at those first 30 days out as the time to rebuild your systems. So we wiped out your bone marrow, we wiped out your immune system, but Sally-Ann’s have got to find their way into that catheter, swim around, figure out where to go and set up shop in you so that you get functioning blood and a functioning immune system again.”
Dr. Roboz said that the first 30, more so than the first 100 is when they’re hoping to see a lot of recovery for Robin. She will be receiving a lot of blood and antibiotics until she’s up and running again.
Where to Buy Robin Roberts Bracelet “Prayer for Protection”
Dr. Roboz told Robin not to put a timetable on when she can come back to Good Morning America. You can learn more about purchasing your own Robin Roberts “Prayer for Protection” wristband by checking out Be the Match. Recapo.com will have all the latest information about joining Team Robin and we’ll update you when we know more!