OneBlood searches for extremely rare blood to save two-year-old Florida girl

Zainab Mughal

Image Zainab Mughal has neuroblastoma

The toddler Zainab has been suffering from neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of blood cancer, and is urgently in need of transfusion and bone marrow transplant.

But finding compatible donors is extremely hard because she does not have a common antigen called Indian B that most people carry in their blood.

Must be exclusively of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, meaning the donor's birth parents are both 100% Pakistani, Indian or Iranian.

Zainab's red blood cells are missing a common antigen known as Indian-B, said Susan Forbes, vice president of marketing and communications for OneBlood.

Zainab Mughal
Image The child needs life-saving transfusions and bone marrow transplants

Then, about two months ago, the 2-year-old's parents got a devastating diagnosis - Zainab has neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that mainly affects children.

"The possibility of us finding a compatible donor for this little girl within the right ethnic group we want to screen is less than four percent", says Frieda Bright, OneBlood's Reference Laboratory Manager.

But statistically speaking, very few people have Indian B antigen missing from their blood, which makes finding a match virtually hard if not impossible. "This was the worst thing we were expecting".

The organization said statistics show the only people who are likely to be a match for her are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent.

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And even within this population, fewer than 4 percent of people are missing the antigen.

For the said goal, a global quest is underway to find a rare blood type.

So far, three donors have been located - one of whom lives in the United Kingdom. OneBlood, which said the ideal number of donors is between seven and 10, is offering to coordinate testing for anyone who believes they fit the criteria.

Visit www.oneblood.org/zainab for more donation information.

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According to a press release, more than 1,000 local and nationwide donations have been tested.

'We need to find more.It's a humble request, and I request it from my heart, ' said Raheel Mughal said in the video.

OneBlood is now working in tandem with other blood centres and American Rare Donor Program to find a flawless blood match for Zainab. "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood, so please donate the blood for my daughter".

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