February 20, 2013 6:06am PT by Erin Carlson
Robin Roberts Returns to 'Good Morning America'
Robert Roberts returned to ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday following a nearly six-month hiatus to fight a rare bone marrow and blood disorder.
"I have been waiting 174 days to say this: 'Good Morning America,'" said Roberts, wearing a bright blue dress and an even brighter smile.
At the top of the 7 a.m. hour, President Obama and Michelle Obama appeared in a taped welcome-back message, with the president saying: "Good Morning America and welcome back Robin." Chiming in, the first lady, who will be interviewed by Roberts in the coming days, said: "Robin, we just want you to know that the whole Obama family, we've been thinking about you and praying for you and rooting for you every step of the way."
Roberts said she was "so grateful" to be back. The show also featured taped messages from Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton as well as a performance from the gospel singer Mandisa, "who really helped me ... through my recovery," said Roberts.
Roberts' sister Sally-Ann Roberts, a local news anchor in New Orleans and the donor for Roberts' bone marrow transplant, also appeared on Wednesday's show, urging viewers to become organ donors.
Roberts had the transplant in September, weeks after leaving GMA to prepare for the operation while battling myelodysplastic syndrome. Her journey of recovery was extensively chronicled on ABC, with satellite appearances and health updates on her condition. Earlier this month, she announced she would return to the anchor's chair following successful treatment and a series of test runs to gauge her strength and immune system.
"Faith, family and friends have brought me to this moment and I am so full of gratitude," she said Wednesday. "There are so many people I want to thank throughout the morning, my doctors and nurses and family and colleagues and people who have sat in this chair and those who have blazed the trail before me."