SoCal leukemia patient expecting twins, hoping for donor to save her life

Leanne Suter Image
Friday, November 23, 2018
Leukemia patient expecting twins hoping for donor to save her life
Susie Rabaca, who has leukemia, is expecting twins and needs a bone-marrow transplant to save her life.

A Southern California woman who is just two weeks from giving birth to twins is pleading for help as she fights for her life.

Susie Rabaca, 36, is due to give birth around Dec. 6.

Earlier in her pregnancy she received some devastating news.

"I started feeling sick and went to the doctor - and found out I had leukemia," she said.

Rabaca is already a mother of three.

Her close-knit family rallied by her side as soon as they found out she needed a bone-marrow transplant.

More information about becoming a potential blood stem cell donor is available here from Be The Match.

Her sister is a 50 percent match, but doctors say it's not good enough to treat her aggressive acute myeloid leukemia.

She needs a 100 percent match, but Rabaca's mixed heritage - Latino and Caucasian - has made finding a donor 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," said Julie Korinke, with Be the Match.

Even with 30 million people on the worldwide registry, there is not one match for Rabaca. Korinke said it's important to sign up more potential donors to improve diversity on the registry.

Rabaca and her family have been on a mission to sign up as many potential donors as possible.

She's in a race against time for her transplant.

On this day of giving thanks, she's hoping she will soon find the match she has been praying for.

"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."

"And you can save my life."