What should have been a joyous pregnancy with twins for Susie Rabaca turned out to be a nightmare. The 36-year-old mother of three found out she had leukemia just a couple of months into her pregnancy. ABC News reports that Rabaca has developed an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer that starts in the bone marrow and often moves to the blood. Now she is pleading for a bone marrow donor before it’s too late.
But for Rabaca, who is half-white, half-Latino, finding a bone marrow donor will be more difficult than most. Her sister has already tested to be a donor and unfortunately came back as a 50 percent match.
“In order for a blood stem cell transplant to work, you need to find a match who has similar DNA and ancestry to you,” Be the Match representative Julie Korinke said to ABC News. “Even with 30 million people on the worldwide registry, Susie does not have one match on that registry.”
Rabaca took to social media to ask people to take the test on Be The Match to see if they qualify to be a donor. “Sign up to be the match. It’s a simple swab of your cheek. If you are my match, then it’s a simple blood draw,” she said. “And you can save my life.”
The response on social media has been overwhelming and Rabaca has expressed her gratitude. “#1 I’m THANKFUL TO THE LORD!” she said on Facebook. “Today I am so beyond thankful to wake up this morning and be with my family! I’m thankful for all the love and support from all my friends and family for all the prayers every single person who is sharing my story and sending for there Be The Match kits! From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!!”