Robin Roberts gets 'Good Morning America' return date, tribute from celebrities (Video)
Robin Roberts has received permission from her doctors to return to "Good Morning America on February 20, her co-host George Stephanopoulos announced on the ABC show on Thursday, almost five months after she underwent a bone marrow transplant.
The 52-year-old has been on medical leave since late last summer and underwent the procedure in September to treat myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood disorder. She has also been through chemotherapy. She was released from a New York hospital in November.(Check out 9 facts about Robin Roberts, her MDS and bone marrow transplant.)
"What a difference a year makes," ABC News quoted Roberts as saying. "I cannot wait to return to my 'GMA' family. It's going to be an incredible morning in Times Square. The overwhelming thoughts and prayers of the viewers have played a major part in getting me here today. I cannot thank everyone enough."
During Thursday's episode, a montage of celebrities saying "welcome back" to Roberts was screened, after which the "GMA" anchors stood up from their desks to give her a standing ovation.
The stars shown in the video included current Oscar nominees Sally Field, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Denzel Washington, as well as Sharon Osbourne, ABC late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan of "LIVE! with Kelly and Michael," country star Tim McGraw, the cast of the ABC sitcom "Modern Family" and former Secretary of State Hilary Cllinton. (Watch the video below)
Roberts first announced her plans to return to "Good Morning America" in January, when she revealed that her latest bone marrow test showed no abnormalities. At the time, the newswoman said she hoped to return sometime in February but did not specify a date. Also in January, Roberts visited the "GMA" set for a test run.
"GMA" weather anchor Sam Champion said Roberts would be on an "abbreviated schedule" when she returns "just because her doctors want her to edge into this, adding: "But eventually, we'll get her five days a week."
Roberts, who had during her medical leave attended Champion's wedding to longtime boyfriend Rubem Robierb, has been Tweeted updates about her health continuously. At the end of December 2012, she reunited with her beloved Jack Russell terrier KJ, just as she celebrated the milestone of marking 100 days of recovery following her bone marrow transplant.
ABC announced that Roberts will also share her personal journey about her treatment and recovery on a special edition of the network's evening news program "20/20" on Friday, Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. ET.