NEW YORK – "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts had her bone marrow transplant Thursday to treat MDS, a bone marrow disorder that affects blood cells production.
The five-minute procedure involving an injection of stem cells from her sister, Sally Ann, through a syringe, was all videotaped and aired on GMA Friday.
"People have in their mind all kinds of images of what can happen in a transplant but it's still an incredibly powerful moment," Dr. Gail Roboz, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center oncologist who is treating Roberts, said today on GMA of the short procedure. "Inside of that syringe are millions and millions of stem cells that are now circulating around and trying to find their home and start growing which is what we're going to be looking for over the next couple of weeks."
Roberts was surrounded by family and friends, including fellow GMA weather anchor Sam Champion, and "World News Tonight" anchor Diane Sawyer.
Roberts had to endure ten days of chemotherapy before the procedure. The next step is waiting to see how her body reacts to the new stem cells.
"We actually check blood sometimes several times a day," Roboz said. "You can start seeing normal blood cells recover and usually what I tell people is when you get three days in a row of the white blood cells coming up, then you're starting to get excited that the graf is taking hold. The stem cells are talking hold and maybe we're going to start getting to the finish line and getting out of the hospital."
Roberts should begin to feel better in about two weeks.