"Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts moved up her last day before medical leave to Thursday.
While Friday was expected to be her last day, the network announced that the "GMA" host would make her final appearance on Thursday. Roberts will then fly home to Mississippi to be with her mother and family who were impacted by Hurricane Isaac.
As planned, Roberts will temporarily leave the show to prepare for and undergo a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with MDS, a rare blood and bone marrow disorder.
On Thursday, "GMA" dedicated the majority of the 8:00 a.m. hour to Roberts. The "GMA" host told viewers that she was "about to embark upon a journey." She added, "This will be my final morning for a while." She read a quote that she described as really resonating with her.
"Life provides losses and heartache for all of us. But the greatest tragedy is to have the experience and miss the meaning," Roberts said, reciting the quote. "I'm determined not to miss the meaning."
The show played a video in which Roberts brought viewers inside her journey of receiving a bone marrow transplant from her sister. Roberts then sat down with her sister and doctor in studio to further discuss her medical leave.
Roberts' doctor detailed the transplant process, saying that Roberts' immune system will rebuild in the first 30 to 100 days after the procedure. Her doctor urged her to avoid putting a timetable on her recovery or her return to "GMA." Roberts' sister said that her heart was with her.
Roberts and her "GMA" co-hosts announced a long list of names who will fill in for her while she's on medical leave. Hosts including Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Kelly Ripa, and Oprah will keep Roberts' seat warm.
The "GMA" staff gathered around Roberts and her fellow co-hosts to listen to Martina McBride sing her song about cancer recovery. Roberts, along with "Today" host Hoda Kotb (also a breast cancer survivor), appeared in McBride's music video. The staff presented her with a book of messages.
Roberts opened the scrapbook and was surprised to see the handwritten notes. "They're real messages!" she excitedly announced. "This is like handwritten!"
Her co-host George Stephanopoulos, who was in Tampa with Sawyer covering the GOP convention, presented her with a bell to ring while she's in recovery. Sawyer said her gift to Roberts was private and would be coming soon.
Tears filled the "GMA" set in New York City and in Tampa. Co-host Lara Spencer said that her colleagues were not crying tears of sadness. "We're crying because we wish we could take this on for you," she said. She then presented matching pajama sets to Roberts and her sister.
As the program came to a close, Roberts said, "This is just see ya later. See ya soon. I'll get back as soon as I can."
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ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
FILE - This Aug. 20, 2012 file photo released by ABC shows co-host Robin Roberts during a broadcast of "Good Morning America," in New York. Roberts has said goodbye to "Good Morning America," but only for a while. The "GMA" anchor made her final appearance Thursday, Aug. 30, before going on medical leave for a bone marrow transplant. Roberts' departure was first planned for Friday, but she chose to exit a day early to visit her ailing mother in Mississippi. In July she first disclosed that she has MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. She will be hospitalized next week to prepare for the transplant. The donor will be her older sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, who was on hand for Thursday's emotional send-off. (AP Photo/ABC, Donna Svennevik, file)
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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 13: GMA Co-Host Robin Roberts addresses the audience on ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Television personality Robin Roberts and singer Mary J. Blige attend ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on June 22, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: U.S. President Barack Obama participates in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC's Good Morning America, in the Cabinet Room of the White House on May 9, 2012 in Washington, DC. During the interview, President Obama expressed his support for gay marriage, a first for a U.S. president. (Photo by Pete Souza/White House Photo via Getty Images)
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HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: TV personality Robin Roberts arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Television personality Robin Roberts attends the 2011 US Open opening night ceremony at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 19: (L-R) Good Morning America correspondents Robin Roberts and Josh Elliott present singer Taio Cruz with a poster commemorating his 10 million singles sales from the song Rokstarr during his performance on ABC's 'Good Morning America at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 19, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Lara Spencer, George Stephanopoulos, Mark Ballas, Chelsea Kane, Hines Ward, Kym Johnson, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Kirstie Alley, Robin Roberts, and guest visit ABC's 'Good Morning America' in Times Square on May 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
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HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Robin Roberts arrives at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on February 27, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK - JUNE 02: Journalist Robin Roberts attends Sesame Workshop's 8th Annual Benefit Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 2, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK - JUNE 02: (L-R) Musician John Legend, Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden and journalist Robin Roberts attend Sesame Workshop's 8th Annual Benefit Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 2, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
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INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 29: Robin Roberts of Good Morning America waves from a car during the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade on May 29, 2010 in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK - MAY 03: Television personality Robin Roberts, host Steve Harvey and Marjorie Harvey attend the New York Gala benefiting The Steve Harvey Foundation at Cipriani, Wall Street on May 3, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for The Steve Harvey Foundation)
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NEW YORK - MARCH 13: News anchor Robin Roberts attends the DVF Awards at the United Nations on March 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK - MARCH 13: (L-R) Melanne Verveer, Danielle Saint-Lot, Diane von Furstenberg, Ingrid Betancourt, Meryl Streep, Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, Christiane Amanpour, Robin Roberts and Katherine Chon attend the DVF Awards at the United Nations on March 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 22: *EXCLUSIVE* (L-R) David Salvador, Robin Roberts and Phil Denniston attend the 2010 AFTRA AMEE Awards at The Grand Ballroom at The Plaza Hotel on February 22, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for AFTRA)