Mom Who Needed Bone Marrow Transplant to Fight Leukemia Needs Another One

May 3, 2019 Updated: May 3, 2019

A mother who needed a bone marrow transplant to fight cancer now needs another one, she said in a tragic update.

Susie Rabaca, who found a bone marrow match as she battled leukemia while she was pregnant with twins last year, said her illness has returned, according to People magazine on May 2.

The California woman was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia early in her pregnancy, ABC7 reported last year, and she needed a bone marrow transplant and a donor.

After word of her case went viral, a donor stepped up to help her. People noted that the donor would have to be half-Latino and half-Caucasian, which is the same heritage as Rabaca.

And in November, she announced that she found a donor.

However, she told the ABC affiliate station that the cancer has returned, as of this week.

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“It’s been devastating because I just went through a transplant in January and I relapsed so quick, so I have to find another donor,” Rabaca, a mother of five children, told ABC7, adding that she is looking for another donor.

“Coming into this the second time, I was very discouraged, but I look at their little faces and know that I have to push for them and my other children,” she said.

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The station noted that Rabaca, 36, gave birth to her twins last year. The two, Ryan and Rainy, are healthy.

Rabaca said that as a mother of five, she is trying to obtain a new donor transplant so she’ll be there for her children.

“Coming into this the second time, I was very discouraged, but I look at their little faces and know that I have to push for them and my other children,” ABC7 quoted her as saying.

Prior reports said that when her story went viral, some 40,000 people signed up to see if they could help.

Potential donors can register at Be The Match to get testing to help Rabaca or another person in need of a transplant.

More Details

“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 said last month about the transplant, according to People magazine in another report.

Korinke said that “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,” Korinke said.

Rabaca previously said she was forced to turn to social media to find a match.

“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’s.”

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