Susie Rabaca is a mother to three children — and is eight months pregnant with twins.
But the 36-year-old woman from Los Angeles says that she received some dreaded news in September: She has acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive form of cancer in blood and bone marrow, according to Fox11.
Now Rabaca, who is set to give birth to her twins in the first week of December, is looking for a life-saving donor so she can be around to watch them grow up, she told KTLA5.
What I need people to do is join and they send you a kit, a little swab for your mouth, send it back,” she told Fox11, “and if you’re my match it’s as simple as a blood draw, and that can possibly save my life.”
Finding a match hasn’t been easy, Rabaca says. Her sister is just a 50 percent match, she told ABC11, and none of the 30 million people on Be The Match would work for a bone marrow transplant, either.
Her combination of Caucasian and Latino heritage makes it even more challenging to find a match, too.
“In order for a blood stem cell transplant to work, you need to find a match who has similar DNA and ancestry to you,” Julie Korinke, from Be The Match, told ABC11.
Rabaca said she checked into her doctor’s office in September because she was feeling tired at work — and then tests revealed she had the aggressive form of cancer, according to KTLA5. At first, she says, the doctors asked whether she wanted to abort her pregnancy.
“Of course,” she told KTLA5, “I was against that.”
From there, chemotherapy treatment began — and Rabaca’s family members have tested themselves in hopes of being a perfect match. She’s still waiting for that match to show up and now is relying on the kindness of strangers to take the time to possibly change her life.
“It’s that important; that people take five minutes to do it, and because it can save my life,” she told KTLA5. “I can find that one person that is my match.”
On Thanksgiving, Rabaca took to Facebook to express her gratitude as the search for her match continues.
“Today I am so beyond thankful to wake up this morning and be with my family!” she wrote on Facebook. “I’m thankful for all the love and support from all my friends and family for all the prayers every single person who is sharing my story and sending for there Be The Match kits!”