After Desperate Plea for Help, Pregnant Mom Battling Cancer Finds Perfect Bone Marrow Match


Susie Rabaca had a lot going on in her life earlier this year. She found out she was adding two more bundles of joy to her family, and then in September she found out that she also had a very aggressive form of cancer.

Pregnancy and leukemia. What was she going to do? In order to seek treatment for her acute myeloid leukemia, she needed a bone marrow transplant.

And for that, she needed a donor. But she couldn’t just find a match from the registry, because her type was rare. There were no listed donors who could help her.

“So a couple months ago I found out I had leukemia,” she told KTTV. “So I’m looking for a match, a bone marrow transplant match.”

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“There’s 30 million people registered on and none of them are my match, so what I need people to do is join and they send you a kit, a little swab for your mouth, send it back, and if you’re my match it’s as simple as a blood draw, and that can possibly save my life.

“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. 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’s.”

Her spirits were high on Thanksgiving when she posted what she was thankful for on her Facebook page.

“#1 I’m THANKFUL TO THE LORD! Today I am so beyond thankful to wake up this morning and be with my family!” she wrote.

Are you on the bone marrow registry?

“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! From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!!!”

Not even her family members could help since they were not a match with her, but after her story went viral, over 40,000 people registered to see if they could be her lifesaver. Out of all those people, one was a match.

On Nov. 29, she posted again. “With tears running down my face and my heart full of hope I want to say THANK YOU LORD! 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!!!!”

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Rabaca plans to have the procedure done after her twins are born in the next week or so. Thanks to one person, Rabaca and her family have a shot at a healthy, happy future together.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking