GMA‘s Robin Roberts takes medical leave early

It was a long and emotional goodbye for Robin Roberts on Good Morning America on Thursday, as the co-host announced she would be taking medical leave a day early to fly to Mississippi to be with her ailing mother and family in Hurricane Isaac’s path.

GMA Robin Roberts

Surrounded by a studio full of staff holding signs that read #teamrobin, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts told viewers “this will be my final morning for awhile.”

Roberts originally was scheduled to take medical leave after Friday’s show to prepare for a bone marrow transplant to treat MDS, a rare blood and bone marrow disorder.

The host is leaving early to be with her ailing 88-year-old mother in Mississippi and other family in the path of Hurricane Isaac.

Roberts announced in June that she had MDS, a stunning revelation that came some five years after she won her public battle against breast cancer.

Much of the show’s 8 a.m. hour was devoted to Roberts and the transplant process; she’s receiving bone marrow from her sister.

GMA‘s staff also gave Roberts touching mementos, including a scrapbook, matching PJs for her and her sister, and the RC Cola she apparently loved to drink as a child.

“This is see you later, see you soon,” Roberts said before signing off, defiantly. “I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”

“To my GMA family, and my family there at home, I love you and I’ll see you soon.”

Image courtesy to Mr. Blue/