South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

A worldwide search is on to find blood donors with a rare genetic variation to help save a 2-year-old South Florida girl battling cancer.

First diagnosed with high-risk Neuroblastoma a few weeks ago, family and doctors believe it was growing in Zainab's stomach for at least 10 months.

OneBlood says it has found three matches so far, one near London and two in the US, but she will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future, which means more donors must be found.

In order to be a match for Zainab, the donor must be Pakistani, Indian or Iranian - meaning the donor's birth parents would have to be 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian - and must have a blood type of "O" or "A". Zainab Mughal, who has neuroblastoma and requires life-saving transfusions, is missing the "Indian B" antigen in her blood due to a genetic mutation.

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

"My daughter, she is still a long way away from being flawless", said Raheel Mughal, Zainab's father.

Zainab's blood is missing a common antigen.

Zainab Mughal, two (left and right), from South Florida, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer of the nerve cells - in October. Around 800 new cases are diagnosed in the United States every year.

OneBlood runs blood donor centers across the Southeast.

Less than four percent of the world's population has the blood type Zainab needs to undergo treatment, which includes frequent blood transfusions, Forbes said.

As the search continues, the little girl's family is already expressing gratitude to all the people who have shown up with a desire to help Zainab in her battle with cancer. The donor must also be missing the Indian B antigen, or the little girl's body will reject the 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 also must coordinate with OneBlood, so their sample is tested for compatibility.

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

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