Robin Roberts’ Mother Dies The Same Day TV Host Takes Medical Leave

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Donna Svennevik / ABC / AP

This 2006 photo released by ABC shows "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, right, with her mother Lucimarian Roberts on the set in New York.

A day after Robin Roberts took medical leave from Good Morning America to prepare to undergo a bone marrow transplant and be with her family, co-host George Stephanopoulos informed viewers that Robert’s mother, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts, 88, had died overnight. Roberts had made a last-minute scheduling change, deciding to leave a day early to be with her ailing mother before surgery. “Robin knew, her heavenly instincts always tell her when she needs to be with her family,” said co-host Diane Sawyer.

Earlier this week, the show had confirmed Robin Roberts last day would be Friday, but the anchor said yesterday that Thursday’s episode would be her final one before heading home. “This morning is a memory I will cherish forever. Thank you and bless you. Sally-Ann and I are on our way to be with our beloved mother. XO,” Roberts wrote on Twitter after the show aired.

In June, Robin Roberts said in a statement that she had been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, which she explained as “a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia.” The anchor had said “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.”

Good Morning America remembered Lucimarian Roberts with a tribute video on Friday, noting that she was the first African American in charge of the Board of Education in Mississippi and praising her steadfast faith and love of poetry and music. “So much about what we love about Robin comes from her mom,” said Stephanopoulous.

Yesterday on the show addressing her impending leave, Robin Roberts wanted to share one quote in particular before she headed back home:

There’s a quote that really resonates with me when I think about this time in my life. ‘Life provides losses and heartbreak for all of us. But the greatest tragedy is to have the experience and miss the meaning.’ I am determined not to miss that meaning, because through it I have discovered I have been given many gifts, gifts that will carry me through this difficult time.

MORE: Robin Roberts Has the Blood Disorder MDS: What Is It?