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‘You’re saving my life.’ Mom of 3 with twins on the way finds her perfect donor match

Susie Rabaca, a Los Angeles mother of three children — and eight months pregnant with twins — found a perfect donor match for a life-saving bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with leukemia.
Susie Rabaca, a Los Angeles mother of three children — and eight months pregnant with twins — found a perfect donor match for a life-saving bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with leukemia. Screenshot from ABC7

As Susie Rabaca, a mother of three, prepared to welcome a set of twins into the world, she received some dreaded news.

The woman, who is eight months pregnant with the babies, was told in September that she has acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive form of cancer in blood and bone marrow, according to Fox11.

Immediately, the woman from Los Angeles — who is set to give birth to her twins in the first week of December — began looking for life-saving donor for a bone marrow transplant so she can be around to watch them grow up, according to KTLA5.

She told ABC11 that people can join the website BeTheMatch.org, which helps people arrange for bone marrow transplants.

“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.”’

Her daughter helped record a video on Facebook asking for help finding her mom a donor match.

Her plea even gained the attention of country superstar Carrie Underwood, who retweeted a story about Rabaca.

Now, it seems like all that effort paid off.

As reported by ABC7, tens of thousands of people have signed up for BeTheMatch.org after Rabaca’s story spread.

And in more good news, Rabaca told NBC Nightly News in an on-screen interview that she was paired with a 100 percent match on Wednesday.

She called it “beyond amazing.” Rabaca said once the match is confirmed, she would like to get the transplant after giving birth, ABC7 reported.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness,” she told NBC Nightly News. “It’s so exciting. It’s the best Christmas gift, you know, it’s everything.”

But finding a match for someone like Rabaca isn’t easy. Her sister is just a 50 percent match, she told ABC11, and none of the 30 million people on BeTheMatch worked at first for a bone marrow transplant, either.

Her combination of Caucasian and Latino heritage made 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.

Now, Rabaca is hoping to thank her anonymous perfect match.

“Whoever you are out there — thank you so much,” she told ABC7. “You’re saving my life. You’re an angel, and I hope one day to meet you.”

Zach Pepper has Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, but that's not stopping him from going to summer baseball camp and throwing out the first pitch at the Marauder's game.

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