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'Good Morning America's' Robin Roberts takes leave a day early

August 30, 2012|By Patrick Kevin Day
(Fred Lee / AP )

Robin Roberts started her long-planned medical leave from "Good Morning America" a day early on Thursday, telling fans, "See you later. See you soon. I'll get back as soon as I can."

Roberts, who took a few weeks off this summer to recharge her engines before a bone marrow transplant in early September, decided to leave after Thursday's show instead of waiting for the weekend. She's expected to travel to Mississippi, where her mother and family are recovering from Hurricane Isaac.

In the meantime, "GMA's" producers have lined up a whole list of big names to fill in for Roberts during her absence, including Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Kelly Ripa and Oprah Winfrey.

Roberts has been diagnosed with MDS, a blood and bone disorder. Her immune system will need time to rebuild after the transplant, explaining why Roberts' absence will be extended and open-ended. She's been urged not to put a timetable on the recovery.

Roberts' sister, Sally-Ann, appeared on the broadcast, which featured several shed tears. The staff also gathered to present Roberts with a book filled with handwritten messages wishing her good luck.

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Join Patrick Kevin Day on Google+ or Twitter. Email: patrick.day@latimes.com

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