Robin Roberts is back in her anchor chair.
Five months after receiving a bone marrow transplant to treat her rare blood disorder, the “Good Morning America” co-anchor returned to work on Wednesday.
“I have been waiting 174 days to say this: ‘Good Morning America,’” a beaming Roberts, 52, said to viewers at the top of the show.
She couldn’t contain her excitement – and neither could her co-host George Stephanopoulos and the rest of their team. “I keep pinching myself and I realize this is real. This is actually happening, and I don't have my froggy slippers on, or do I?" Roberts laughed. "Faith, family and friends have brought me to this moment and I am so full of gratitude.”
Roberts’ big return was the main focus of the news show – which was dubbed “a very special edition of ‘Good Morning America’” – and they pulled out all the stops for her. The fanfare included taped messages from President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Good morning America – and welcome back, Robin!” said the president, who called Roberts “an inspiration to all of us.”
The FLOTUS added, “The whole Obama family, we have been thinking about you and praying for you.”
Roberts will soon have more chat time with the first lady. The show announced she will interview her to discuss the third anniversary of the Let’s Move campaign for a segment airing on February 26.
Roberts returns to work nearly a year after first becoming ill. It was while she was covering the Academy Awards for ABC last year that she found herself exhausted and subsequent tests showed she had myelodysplastic syndromes (M.D.S.), a rare blood disorder which likely was a result from her treatment for breast cancer five years earlier.
After sharing her diagnosis with “GMA” viewers in June, she took a medical leave of absence at the end of August so she could undergo a bone-marrow transplant. However, instead of disappearing while she recovered, she shared her touching journey in intimate segments on the morning show and blog posts on the show website – allowing fans to go through the experience with her.
Which is why her triumphant return is all the sweeter today.