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13th of December 2018

Health



Mom battling cancer while pregnant with twins finds bone marrow donor match

A pregnant mother whose search for a bone marrow donor went viral last week has found her match, after her story reportedly inspired 40,000 people to register with BeTheMatch.org.

Susie Rabaca, who is due to give birth to twins next week and has three other children at home, was diagnosed with leukemia a few months ago.

Acute myeloid leukemia starts in the bone marrow and moves into the blood, and can spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes and other organs. According to the American Cancer Society, about 60,300 new cases of leukemia will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. Of those, about 19,520 cases will be AML.

The 36-year-old mother from Carson, Calif., was devastated to learn that her sister was only a partial donor match, and took her search public.

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“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,” Rabaca had told Fox 11. “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.”

On Wednesday, Rabaca got the news that she desperately needed to hear.

“For me to find one and for it to be 10 out of 10 at that is amazing,” she told ABC 7. “Nothing better in the world right now.”

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Rabaca does not know the identity of her donor, but her mixed heritage had added difficulty to the search.

“Only 3 percent of our registry is mixed ethnicity and so it can be really difficult to find a matching donor,” Julie Kornike, of BeTheMatch.org, told ABC 7. “The fact that we have identified a potential match for her is really exciting.”

Rabaca’s doctors had planned for the transplant to occur shortly after the twins’ Dec. 6 arrival.

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