A woman from Southern California who is expecting twins in two weeks desperately needs a bone marrow donor to help her beat the cancer she was diagnosed with earlier in her pregnancy.
Just a few months into carrying her two babies, Susie Rabaca, 36, began to feel ill, she told ABC 7. Already a mother of three children, Rabaca’s twins are due December 6.
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After a trip to the doctor, Rabaca discovered the unimaginable: she had developed an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia — a cancer that starts in the bone marrow and often moves to the blood, reports the American Cancer Society.
To save her life, doctors told the San Pedro native she would need the “perfect” bone-marrow transplant match.
Her sister instantly offered to undergo the procedure but was disappointed to learn she was only a 50 percent match, which doctors explained wasn’t good enough, according to ABC.
Because of the severity of the cancer, Rabaca, who is half-Latino and half-Caucasian, needs someone with a 100 percent match. Finding that person, however, has proven to be incredibly difficult.
“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 told the outlet. “Even with 30 million people on the worldwide registry, Susie does not have one match on that registry.”
“Because matching is based on ancestry and DNA, it’s really important that our registry is just as diverse as our population and right now that isn’t the case,” she added.
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To get through this trying time, Rabaca has been relying on her family and children for emotional support. “My 4-year-old, she just holds my hand, grabs my bald head, she just yeah, she’s my Little Rock,” she told Fox 11.
The mother of three has also turned to social media in hopes that someone will see her plea and save her life. In the race against time, Rabaca has been sharing the link to her Be The Match donor page on her Facebook.
“Finding my match is everything to me so I can be here for the three children I have, and the two that I have on the way, it’s everything,” she said to Fox. “It’s so easy, there’s no painful procedure, there’s no surgery, it’s just swab your mouth and it’s as simple as a blood draw, and you can save somebody’s life, if not mine, somebody else’s.”
Those who believe they’d be a good fit for Rabaca’s transplant can go to http://join.bethematch.org/susie and create a profile for free.