SoCal leukemia patient who just gave birth to twins gets ready for long transplant journey

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ByRob Hayes via KABC logo
Saturday, December 8, 2018
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A single mother of three who just gave birth to twins and has leukemia is preparing for her bone marrow transplant after her story went viral and led to finding her perfect donor match.

SAN PEDRO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It was a story that had many cruel twists - a single mother of three who was pregnant with twins and needed a bone marrow transplant to treat her leukemia.

But this holiday season, Susie Rabaca's story continues to shine.

Twins Ryan and Rainey were born Thursday, which is the latest healthy chapter in Rabaca's life.

"My little miracle babies," she said. "I had to make the choice to keep these babies or terminate the pregnancy and, of course, I could not terminate the pregnancy so I kept them."

Their birth comes after Rabaca received good news in late November. She was fighting acute myeloid leukemia and doctors told her she'd need a bone marrow transplant that had to be a perfect match.

While searching through the 30 million registered donors in the Be The Match registry, a perfect match wasn't found. But after her story went viral and thousands more registered to help her, good news came.

"I got the call that I had an identified 10 out of 10 perfect match," she said.

A record 60,000 people signed up to be donors. Rabaca's donor is still a mystery, but her gratitude isn't.

"Whoever you are, wherever you're at - thank you. Look, you're giving me life for these babies, beautiful babies," she said.

While her story has no guarantee of a happy ending, it's a good start to one. Just before New Year's, she'll be leaving Ryan and Rainey with her mother as she undergoes a month straight of chemotherapy and radiation.

Then comes her bone marrow transplant. Still, Rabaca is in good spirits.

"Definitely. It's happy. It's happy tears now," she said.