A pregnant woman who made a heartfelt plea for a transplant donor earlier this month has, against all the odds, found an exact match! Tragically, Susie Rabaca, 36, was just a few months into carrying her twins when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia. The only treatment that had any hope of working was a bone marrow transplant, but there was no match found on the registry – despite there being some 30 million registered donors.
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So, with the future of her twins at the forefront of her mind, Rabaca went about searching for a donor. Initially, it looked like her sister might be able to undergo the procedure, but the family was disappointed to learn she was only a 50 percent match. Unfortunately, the doctors said that this would not be good enough for a healthy recovery.
“In order for a blood stem cell transplant to work, you need to find a match who has similar DNA and ancestry to you,” Be the Match representative Julie Korinke told ABC 7. “Even with 30 million people on the worldwide registry, Susie does not have one match on that registry.”
“Because matching is based on ancestry and DNA, it’s really important that our registry is just as diverse as our population and right now that isn’t the case,” she added.
Due to the severity of her cancer, doctors recommended that Susie receive a 100% match. So, along with the help of friends and family, Susie set about searching the globe for a miracle donor. Incredibly, her story went viral and received thousands of shares across social media.
“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,” she 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’
Finally, with a little help from country star Carrie Underwood, Rabaca found a match, revealing the stunning news Wednesday night.
Just came across this story…who wants to save a life for Christmas? https://t.co/YutHS6dspR
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) November 27, 2018
“For me to find one and for it to be 10 out of 10 at that is amazing,” she told ABC 6. “Nothing better in the world right now.”
Susie, now heavily pregnant, is due to give birth by Dec. 6. Yesterday, she took to Facebook to express her gratitude and joy.
“With tears running down my face and my heart full of hope I want to say THANK YOU LORD!” she wrote. “And thank you from the bottom of my heart to every single person that has said even 1 prayer for me and my family! Thank you to my family, friends, people around the country that I don’t even know that have shown support and especially that have signed up for BE THE MATCH!!!!! Journey isn’t over but a huge step forward!!! Thankful for you all lots of love! Keep Praying thank you!!!!”
“Whoever you are out there – thank you so much,” she said to her anonymous donor. “You’re saving my life. You’re an angel, and I hope one day to meet you.”
“It’s beyond amazing,” she added to NBC News. “It’s so exciting, it’s the best Christmas gift.”
Pray that all goes well with Susie’s transplant and that her babies are born happy and healthy!