Southern California leukemia patient Susie Rabaca, who is also pregnant with twins and due to deliver by December 6, has found her perfect bone marrow donor.
Rabaca, whose story went viral weeks ago after she was unable to find a donor match given her unique Latino and Caucasian heritage, will receive her transplant after delivering her babies.
Already a mother of 3, Rabaca inspired a record number of people to sign up to Be the Match with her heartbreaking story. According to ABC7.com, 40,000 people came to Rabaca’s rescue, one of whom is a perfect 10 out of 10 match.
While the Be the Match registry is home to millions of potential donors, patients in need require a close match for successful treatment. Unfortunately, family members are not always close enough, as was the case with Rabaca’s sister, who was a 50% match. And for patients of mixed heritage, only 3% of the registry contains potential donor matches.
I have seen the power that signing up to be a bone marrow donor can have in the life of someone struggling with leukemia as it pertains to a little boy in my area. Several years ago, he was desperately in need of a donor, and the local community rallied around him, finally securing the match that ultimately saved his life.
All I can ever think in these situations is what if that were my child, my sister, my cousin, or my friend? I would hope someone would be willing to give in order to save them. We all would.
If you are interested in signing up for the donor registry, you can research the details on BeTheMatch.org. And even if you are not a good candidate for bone marrow donation, either due to health or age, there are still ways you can help. The organization is always in need of financial assistance and people to organize donor drives.
Rabaca’s story has a happy ending in sight thanks to the droves of people who heeded the call for help. Imagine how many other lives we could collectively save as well.