SoCal mother who fought cancer while pregnant has leukemia again, needs another bone marrow donor

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Mom of twins has cancer again, needs another bone marrow donor
Susie Rabaca recently gave birth to twins while fighting cancer. The local mom found a rare bone marrow match and received the transplant, but now doctors say the leukemia has returned, so she must find another donor.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- For leukemia patient Susie Rabaca, these six months have been a roller coaster of joy and grief.

In December, after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, Rabaca gave birth to twins Ryan and Rainey. But after miraculously matching with a bone marrow transplant and getting the procedure weeks later, the cancer has come back again.

"It's been devastating because I just went through a transplant in January and I relapsed so quick, so I have to find another donor," Rabaca said.

When we first met Rabaca back in November, she was 8 months pregnant with twins and had just been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

She needed a bone marrow transplant that was a 100% match, but her mixed heritage made it difficult to find a donor. Her plea to find a bone marrow donor traveled around the world, and 85,000 people signed up for Be The Match -- an organization that connects people who need bone marrow transplants with donors. Now the urgency behind her work with Be The Match is ramping up, as she needs a second donor with a 100% match.

Rabaca's twins Ryan and Rainy are healthy and happy, along with her other children.

She said she's fighting for all her kids, so she can beat this brutal disease.

"Coming into this the second time, I was very discouraged, but I look at their little faces and know that I have to push for them and my other children," Rabaca said.

To join the Be The Match registry so you can help people like Rabaca, click here.

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