Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

A worldwide search is underway to find some of the rarest blood in the world to help a 2-year-old Florida girl battling cancer.

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

As per the details mentioned by Zainab's family and her doctors, donors must be of Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian lineage. The birth parents of the donor must be 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian and their blood type has to be type "O" or "A". She was then diagnosed with cancer.

"My daughter, she is still a long way away from being ideal", said Raheel Mughal, Zainab's father. "This was the worst thing we were expecting". In about 2 out of 3 cases, the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body upon diagnosis.

Doctors soon learned that Zainab's red blood cells are missing a common antigen, which causes your immune system to produce antibodies, called Indian B. This is the first time OneBlood has ever received an worldwide donor for a local patient.

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.

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Statistically, donors need to be exclusively of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent.

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.

"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." said Bright.

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

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. "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood".

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