‘Good Morning America’s’ Robin Roberts Starts Medical Leave Early (VIDEO)

Robin Roberts preps leave
The co-host of 'GMA' will take an extended medical leave.
Support for Roberts
The 'GMA' co-host is overwhelmed by support.
Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts has announced that she’s departing the show early to begin medical leave.

The anchor was set to take an extended medical leave beginning after Friday’s show to undergo treatment for the rare blood and bone marrow disorder, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Now she will fly to Mississippi early to be with her ailing mother, Lucimarian, and her family, all of whom are  being affected by Hurricane Isaac.

How did her colleagues show their support?

With the news, much of morning program’s eight o’clock hour was dedicated to Roberts. The show provided viewers a glimpse of Roberts’ journey into receiving a bone marrow transplant from her sister Sally, including a conversation with her doctor and sister regarding the transplant process.

Thankful for all the support, the 51-year old said, “I know the journey ahead will not be easy, but I’m going to focus on all these gifts.” The tearful hour had included the presentation of a scrapbook full of hand-written messages, as her Good Morning America family held signs which read “#teamrobin.”

Roberts, whose diagnosis of MDS is a result of complications from treatment for breast cancer, which she fought 5 years ago, says she feels blessed.

“Forty percent of Americans can’t even take a sick day, and here I know that I’m going to have a job when I come back,” she said.

She also promised she’d be “watching [her colleagues] in her jammies.”

In her absence, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Kelly Ripa and Oprah Winfrey will fill in as co-hosts.

Not knowing what the timetable is for her return, Roberts closed by saying, “This is just see ya later, see ya soon. I’ll get back as soon as I can.”