Pregnant woman battling cancer finds perfect bone marrow match

Mother’s desperate plea for help inspired tens of thousands to register as potential donors

Pregnant woman battling cancer finds perfect bone marrow match
Susie Rabaca, a soon-to-be mother of five, hopes to undergo a bone marrow transplant to treat her leukemia after delivering her twins. (Source: Be the Match/Facebook)

LOS ANGELES (RNN) - After making a desperate plea to help her find a bone marrow donor, a mother of three, pregnant with twins and fighting leukemia, found a 100 percent match in a matter of days.

Mother of three Susie Rabaca is expecting twins by Dec. 6, but her pregnancy has not been an easy one, KABC reports.

As her due date drew nearer, Rabaca became more desperate: she had aggressive acute myeloid leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant.

Susie is a mother of three, balancing a jam-packed schedule and everyday life. Last May, she was thrilled to learn she...

Posted by Be The Match on Monday, November 19, 2018

The mother’s story, shared by KABC on Thanksgiving Day, inspired many. Within days, almost 40,000 people registered to the Be the Match registry to be listed as a potential blood stem cell donor.

Officials said that was a record-breaking weekend for the registry.

Finally, Rabaca and her family learned Wednesday night she had found her 100 percent match.

"Whoever you are out there, thank you so much. You're saving my life. You're an angel, and I hope one day to meet you," the mother told KABC.

Rabaca now hopes to undergo the marrow transplant after delivering her twins, according to KABC. She also hopes to hit a goal of 100,000 people signing up on Be the Match.

Rabaca’s mixed heritage, Latino and white, had made finding a donor difficult. Her sister was a 50 percent match, but doctors said that wasn’t good enough to treat Rabaca’s leukemia.

Be the Match officials said the registry is particularly in need of people with mixed ethnic heritage. Only 3 percent of the registry, which includes 30 million names worldwide, falls into that category.

Officials said the thousands of new donations they received after Rabaca’s plea were more ethnically diverse than average.

More information about becoming a bone marrow donor can be found on Be the Match’s website.

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