By Jacque Wilson, CNN
CNN) - Robin Roberts' battle against myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, is just beginning. The "Good Morning America" anchor will undergo chemotherapy before having a bone marrow transplant later this year.
"Bone marrow donors are scarce and particularly for African-American women," Roberts wrote Monday. "I am very fortunate to have a sister who is an excellent match, and this greatly improves my chances for a cure."
More than 10,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with blood-related disorders every year, according to the National Marrow Donor Program. Often the best treatment is a bone marrow transplant. During the procedure, a donor's stem cells are directly transfused into the sick patient's bloodstream. The patient's new cells multiply over time to create healthy bone marrow.
Unfortunately, the chance of finding a match on the national registry is as low as 66% for African-Americans and other minorities, compared with 93% for Caucasians.
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