Robin Roberts Takes Medical Leave

"GMA" anchor opens up about fighting a rare disease.
3:00 | 08/30/12

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Transcript for Robin Roberts Takes Medical Leave
We know that a lot of you waking up this morning were surprised that our robin roberts told us she was leaving for a while. First to travel to mississippi to see her beloved mom, before her bone marrow transplant begins next week. Today her abc family linked arms to send her on her way. And tonight's abc's sharyn alfonsi tells us more about what robin said this morning and what awaits her on the journey ahead. Reporter: Like so many big stories, it was robin who broke the news to us this morning. I had planned to let tomorrow be the last day, and then something's happened at home and I wanna take care of that. Reporter: Robin's heading home to see her ailing mother in mississippi. NEXT WEEK, SHE BEGINS HER e Treatment for mds, myelodysplastic syndrome. She needs a bone marrow transplant. HEAR SISTER,Ñi SALLY ANN, IS A Perfect match. I just want this to work. This has got to work. Reporter: Robin calling it all "a journey," and allowing us to tag along. For the tests -- how did it go? Reporter: To the countless trips to the hospital. ♪ Reporter: And teaching us along the way about this disease we knew so little about. Robin developed mds after going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. Now, she has to have more chemo. When people have heard that i am going to have chemotherapy, they've said to me, but wasn't that what got you in trouble to begin with? So why are you having it again? Here we are getting rid of your stem cells. Sally's stem cells will never be exposed to chemotherapy. Oh. So, yes, we are damaging your cells beyond recognition, but we are getting rid of them. We are replacing your cells with sally's cells. After you recover, you may get her allergies, you will get her blood type. You won't get her taste for music. Reporter: Doctors say the bone marrow transplant is actually the easier part. You can sleep through the whole thing. The first 100 days are really key. We're hoping the first 30 is when we're going to see a lot of that recovery happening. Reporter: This morning on gma, tears, laughter -- and I will be back, just so you know! Reporter: Her prognosis is excellent. And while she may have to be in physical isolation for a while, so many of us will be with her on that journey in spirit, and in prayer. Sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new

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