Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, announced to the world that she has been diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a rare blood and bone-marrow disease. Approximately 10,000-15,000 people are diagnosed with MDS every year in the United States. MDS generally affects persons over the age of 60 and is seen in men more than women. According to the National Marrow Donor Program, individuals with MDS do not produce enough normal blood cells. Abnormal blood cells and platelets do not perform properly in the body and have shorter life periods than normal cells, creating serious problems.
How MDS affects the body
Red Blood Cells
• Carries oxygen throughout the body
• Abnormal or low numbers can lead to anemia
• Helps remove carbon dioxide from the body
White Blood Cells
• Fights infection
• Powers the immune system
• Clots blood
• Control bleeding on cuts and wounds
Roberts told viewers ” I’m going to beat this.” Five years ago, she successfully won her fight against breast cancer. Now, her sister will serve as her donor, as she is an almost perfect bone-marrow match. We wish Robin Roberts the best as she faces her new challenge.