Good Morning America host Robin Roberts started her medical leave a day earlier than scheduled yesterday, and ABC revealed the sad reason why today: She left to be with her mother in her last hours. Lucimarian Roberts, the first black person to head the Mississippi Board of Education, died at age 88. Her death comes as Robin—who is suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS—prepares to receive a bone-marrow transplant from her sister.
In June, Roberts said this of her diagnosis, notes Time: “If you Google MDS, you may find some scary stuff, including statistics that my doctors insist don’t apply to me. They say I’m younger and fitter than most people who confront this disease and will be cured.”