Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

Desiree Burns
December 4, 2018

- OneBlood reported on Monday that they are searching worldwide for some of the rarest blood in the world, as it is needed to save a a two-year-old South Florida girl.

Zainab Mughal, from South Florida, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer in the nerve cells - and needs life-saving blood transfusions as she undergoes chemotherapy.

OneBlood says people who are of Indian, Pakistani or Iranian descent are statistically the only people to be a possible donor match for Zainab, and of those groups, less than 4 percent are missing the Indian B antigen.

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.

OneBlood is coordinating compatibility testing and asks that prospective donors specify that they are looking to donate for Zainab, so the blood can be tagged for testing. But OneBlood, the lab facilitating the search, said in a press release that she needs more blood than the three donors have given for her treatment.

According to The Miami Herald, the family's plight began two months ago after doctors discovered a tumor that had been growing undetected in Zainab's stomach.

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Her parents' blood is not compatible, said the child's father Raheel Mughal. So far, three donors have been found.

Dr Bright further explained, "She's going to need to be completely supported by blood donations in order to survive the cancer treatment in order to kill this cancer". 'This was the worst thing we were expecting'.

Neuroblastoma most often occurs in infants and young children, and accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers in children. Around 800 new cases are diagnosed in the United States every year. If Zainab gets a blood donation from someone who has the antigen, her body will reject it.

"We now have to provide more specialty matched blood for this child", said Frieda Bright, the reference laboratory manager for OneBlood, in a video produced by the organization.

"What you're doing to save a human life, my daughter's life, is wonderful", says Mughal.

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