Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

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A donor's blood would only be a match for Zainab if they, too, are missing the Indian B antigen, according to OneBlood.

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 leading the search for Zainab, a two-year-old girl in South Florida who has an aggressive form of cancer called neuroblastoma.

OneBlood, which runs blood donor centers across the Southeast, is sharing Zainab's story in the hopes more people who meet the specific donor criteria will come forward to donate for the little girl.

Donors must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian descent, which means the donor's birth parents must both be 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian and the blood type must be "O" or "A". Around 800 new cases are diagnosed in the United States every year.

Mughal said his daughter's diagnosis was "the worst thing" they could have expected, until doctors discovered another problem.

It is described by OneBlood as "some of the rarest blood in the world" - and neither of Zainab's parents were found to be a match. "We are searching the world to try to find blood for this little girl".

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

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.

In an effort to find donors, OneBlood is working with the American Rare Donor Program, a cooperative of the American Red Cross and the American Association of Blood Banks that operates a database of more than 80,000 rare donors in the U.S. Of those populations, still only 4 percent of people are actually missing the antigen.

More than 1,000 donations have been tested to match her blood. As of now, three donors have been located, one of whom is from the United Kingdom.

'We were all crying, ' said Zainab's father Raheel Mughal in an interview with OneBlood.

A toddler in Florida has spurred a hunt for compatible blood donors, and the requirements are incredibly rigid.

"All donations for Zainab must be coordinated with OneBlood in advance to ensure the additional compatibility testing is performed", OneBlood said.

"It's a humble request and I request it from my heart". "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood".

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