KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Morning television news just won't be the same without the smiling face of Robin Roberts.
We at WATE got to know her in June, just days before she announced her diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS.
You'd never know she wasn't feeling well during our interview when she was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
Now, Robin faces a dark chapter in her life. MDS, once called pre-leukemia, most often affects people over 60.
In Robin's case, MDS was brought on by chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer several years ago.
Dr. David Schumaker is a clinical oncologist with Tennessee Cancer Specialists. He has dealt with many cases just like Robin's, and says they are often tough to fight.
While there are different treatment options for MDS, a bone marrow transplant is the best option for patients like Robin.
"This is, can be, an aggressive disorder of the bone marrow and there are a number of possible treatments for it, but in younger particularly fit patients, a transplant is the only treatment that has the potential to be completely curative," Dr. Schumaker explained. "So in her case that's probably why it was recommended."
He says recovery from a bone marrow transplant can take several months, due to risk factors like infection and possible rejection.
But Dr. Schumaker says due to the fact that Robin's sister is a perfect bone marrow match, her chances of a full recovery are better.
There is a Prayer for Protection bracelet in honor of Robin Roberts. You can purchase a package of five bracelets for $5.00 and the proceeds benefit the National Bone Marrow Donor Program.