California leukemia patient expecting twins finds perfect donor match

CALIFORNIA -- A Southern California woman pregnant with twins has found the perfect bone-marrow donor just weeks after her touching story went viral.

A record-breaking number of people signed up to be potential bone-marrow donors following a story about Susie Rabaca, who was in need of a transplant.

She is due to give birth by Dec. 6 and was in desperate need of a bone-marrow transplant to help treat her leukemia.

Within days of her story airing Nov. 22 on sister station ABC7 in Los Angeles, almost 40,000 people registered for the Be The Match registry.

More information about becoming a potential blood stem cell donor is available here from Be The Match.

A bone marrow transplant can be a potentially life-saving procedure for those with leukemia. But for the process to work, the donor needs to be a close match. There are some 30 million people on the worldwide registry.

Rabaca is already a mother of three. Her sister is a 50 percent match, but doctors said it wasn't good enough to treat her aggressive acute myeloid leukemia.

She needed a 100 percent match, but Rabaca's mixed heritage - Latino and Caucasian - had made finding a donor difficult.

Rabaca and her family have been on a mission to sign up as many potential donors as possible.

The registry is particularly in need of people with mixed ethnic heritage for many other potential recipients without a match.

Registry officials said the thousands of new donations were more ethnically diverse than average.

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