theGrio’s 100: Robin Roberts, morning TV star is brave face of MDS

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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Robin Roberts attends the revealing of the 'Oscar's Red Carpet Live' hosts on 'Good Morning America' at ABC Studios on February 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Robin Roberts attends the revealing of the 'Oscar's Red Carpet Live' hosts on 'Good Morning America' at ABC Studios on February 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images)

Who is Robin Roberts?

Robin Roberts, the 52-year-old co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America,  became a household name following her acclaimed stint on ESPN, where she was a fixture from 1990 to 2005 and won three Emmy Awards. Her career in broadcast television stretches back even farther. She established herself as a TV journalist with affiliate stations in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. In 2009, she was promoted from her role as an ABC News correspondent to GMA, the network’s morning news standard bearer.

Why is she on theGrio’s 100?

Having already successfully battled breast cancer in 2007, Roberts was devastated to learn that she had contracted a potentially fatal bone marrow disease, myelodysplastic syndrome, commonly known as MDS, right at the peak of her success on GMA. Instead of letting this setback discourage her, Roberts went public with her condition and her impending transplant surgery.

“My doctors tell me I’m going to beat this — and I know it’s true,” Roberts said in her statement revealing her illness.

Her bravery in the face of adversity served as inspiration to her legions of fans and helped cement her status as a newswoman that everyday Americans can really relate to. “My body is so weak but not my mind. You give me the courage to keep going,” she told her fans as she began treatment.

During her leave of absence from GMA a host of big names, including Oprah Winfrey, attempted to fill Roberts’ shoes, but TV viewers were still anxiously awaiting her return to the spotlight.

What’s next for Roberts?

Roberts successfully underwent her bone marrow transplant surgery last fall.

“There’s no place like home,” she tweeted after being released from the hospital. “After 30 days in the hospital I’m home. Praise God from who all blessings flow. Thank YOU and bless YOU. XO.”

This January, Roberts announced that she is making significant progress in her recovery.

According to E! she tweeted a photo of herself in a Santa hat with the caption: “Every morning I mark the day post my bone marrow transplant. Today I reached a major milestone…Day 100! Blessings..XO.”

She revealed on January 14th that she would be “coming home” to Good Morning America “in week(s), not months.”

On Februry 7, 2013, her return date to GMA (Feb. 20) was confirmed.

Follow Robin Roberts on Twitter at @RobinRoberts.