Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

"We were all crying.", said Zainab's father Raheel Mughal in a video.

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.

To be a donor, a person must have blood type A or O and they must be missing the same antigen - otherwise her body will reject the blood. "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.

The two-year-old from South Florida, Zainab suffers from Neuroblastoma, a cancer that grows from immature nerve cells surrounding the adrenal glands that affects children of five years of age or under.

According to OneBlood, Zainab's blood is extremely rare because it is missing an antigen, called "Indian B", that most people commonly carry in their red blood cells.

The cancer can spread to tissues beyond the original site, including bone marrow, bone, lymph nodes, liver and skin.

Zainab's blood is missing a common antigen.

OneBlood runs blood donor centers across the Southeast.

The only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, OneBlood said. This means that both the parents of the donors must be from Pakistan, India or Iran and the blood type should be either "O" or "A". "The possibility of us finding a compatible donor for this little girl within the right ethnic group is less than 4 percent".

So far, three matching donors have been found worldwide, including a donor in the United Kingdom.

More than 1,000 donations have been tested to match her blood.

"We need to find's a humble request, and I request it from my heart", added Mr Mughal, who is pleading for help.

Donors must reach out to OneBlood in advance to ensure the additional compatibility testing is performed.

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

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