(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
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Levenson, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN