A Southern California leukemia patient found a bone marrow donor weeks before her scheduled due date to give birth to twins.
Susie Rabaca, 36, a mother of three, was in dire need of a bone marrow transplant before her December 6 due date and had trouble finding a perfect match due to her genetic makeup of mixed ethnicity.
Tests revealed that her sister was a 50 percent match, but doctors said she needed a 100 percent match to effectively treat the aggressive form of the disease, acute myeloid leukemia.
Since then, Rabaca and her family have been trying to find the perfect match by encouraging eligible donors to sign up for a worldwide bone marrow donor registry.
One local news station in Los Angeles shared Rabaca’s story on Thanksgiving Day, prompting tens of thousands of people to sign up for the Be the Match registry. More than 40,000 people signed up to become donors as of Wednesday.
But one lucky donor out of the estimated 30 million people who signed up for the worldwide registry saved the day; that donor turned out to be a 100 percent match for Rabaca.
Although Rabaca found her perfect match, Be the Match wanted to ensure other leukemia patients had the chance to find a perfect match, so it increased its goal from 40,000 donors to 60,000 donors and encouraged people to sign up for the registry in Rabaca’s name before she gives birth on December 6.