JACKSON, Miss. -- Good Morning America anchor and Mississippi native Robin Roberts is undergoing a bone marrow transplant today to treat a blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome.
“It (the transplant) is fairly simply and works much like a blood transfusion,” said University of Mississippi Medical Center Transplant Coordinator Jennifer Rouse. “The nurses come in and give her pre-medication to try to limit the chance of reaction that she could have from the potential donor cell; and just kind of monitor her to make sure she is stable through the process.
A transplant takes several hours. But Rouse says recovery takes weeks. It includes chemotherapy and a lot of waiting, “for the new donor cells they are giving her today from her sibling to start to grow and mature to give her (blood) counts again and an immune system again.”
Roberts is very fortunate. Rouse says about 70 percent of people in need of a bone marrow transplant cannot find a match.
To sign up to be a bone marrow donor here in Mississippi, call the state’s registry program at 800-862-3627