Roberts taking leave for marrow transplant

  • Updated: August 27, 2012 - 7:22 PM
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Robin Roberts, center, with her sister Sally-Ann Roberts, right and ABC News' Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America."

Photo: Ida Mae Astute, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

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Friday will be Robin Roberts' last day on "Good Morning America" before she goes on medical leave to receive a bone-marrow transplant, the show confirmed via Twitter on Monday. Roberts also discussed her impending departure with co-anchors George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer.

"I can't imagine not getting up and being here," she said on the air. Roberts also told viewers that she'd check into the hospital on Tuesday but that it would be 10 more days before the transplant from her sister, Sally, would take place.

Before Roberts' departure, "Good Morning America" will highlight stories of other people afflicted by MDS, the rare blood disorder Roberts was diagnosed with in the spring.

The announcement was not a huge surprise to fans. Over the weekend, Roberts tweeted that she had left her dog K.J. in the care of some friends and had "cried like a baby."

As Roberts explained on the air, the handoff was necessary because "when you have a bone-marrow transplant, you don't have an immune system for a while and you're very susceptible to infection."

O'Donnell reveals marriage

Rosie O'Donnell announced that she married her fiancée, Michelle Rounds, in a private ceremony in June, just days before Rounds had surgery to treat desmoid tumors. The 50-year-old TV personality also said Monday on her blog that she is selling original paintings on eBay to raise money for the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation. A spokeswoman for O'Donnell confirmed the nuptials and fundraising efforts. Rounds was diagnosed with desmoid tumors in June. She and O'Donnell wed in New York on June 9, and Rounds underwent surgery June 14. Desmoid tumors, which can be fatal, occur rarely and can affect almost any area of the body. O'Donnell has had health issues of her own. She said Aug. 20 that she had recently suffered a heart attack.

116 CANDLES: Retired Georgia schoolteacher Besse Cooper, the world's oldest person, turned 116 on Sunday. The Walton County Tribune reported that a bridge near her home was named in her honor to mark the occasion. Cooper was born Aug. 26, 1896, in Sullivan, Tenn., and moved to Georgia in the 1920s. Asked about the secret to her longevity, she told Guinness World Records, "I mind my own business. And I don't eat junk food."

MOON MAN: Diana Krall knows how to pay tribute to Neil Armstrong. The jazz singer-pianist tenderly played the standard "Fly Me to the Moon" during a concert Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl. She once was lucky enough to share a glass of wine with the first man to walk on the moon, Krall said. The astronaut died Saturday at 82.

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