Susie Rabaca was just a few months into her pregnancy when she started to feel off. She knew she was carrying twins, but her symptoms were beyond normal pregnancy discomfort.
Tragically she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. She was told her only hope of survival was to get a bone marrow transfer.
Due to the nature of the cancer, she needed a 100% genetic match, but despite over 30 million people in the registry, not one person matched with Rabaca.
The cancer was fast-spreading and time was not on her side. Rabaca's sister immediately underwent testing, but she was only a 50% match. With no other alternative, she turned to social media.
Just came across this story...who wants to save a life for Christmas? https://t.co/YutHS6dspR— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) November 27, 2018
Her call for help went viral in a big way with people around the world, and even celebrities like Carrie Underwood, sharing her story. Millions of people saw her message and over 50,000 signed up for the Be The Match database.
Sure enough, one of them was a match.
"For me to find one and for it to be 10 out of 10 at that is amazing. Nothing better in the world right now," Rabaca said.
Not only was she fighting for her own life, and those of her twins, Rabaca is already a mother of three.
"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," she told Fox News. "It's everything."
Rabaca is due on Dec 6 and if all goes well she will undergo her transplant soon after.
The testing procedure to see if you're a match is simple; it's just a cheek swab. You can register on the web site and they'll mail you the tools you need.
The web site notes that many TV shows and movies have made bone marrow donation seem like a scary thing, but that's not the case. While donors may experience fatigue and bruising, the drama of excessive pain and discomfort is overblown.
"Donors are given anesthesia so they feel no pain during collection. Discomfort during recovery varies from person to person. Side effects may include back pain, fatigue, headache or bruising for a few days or weeks," it says on the website.
Rabaca isn't the only person in search of a donor, but her story may have saved even more lives. With so many more registrations that means more donors to potentially save lives. The fight is still going on, and everyone is encouraged to sign up.
We will all be hoping and praying for a safe and healthy outcome of the procedures.