'Extremely rare blood' donations needed to save 2-year-old Florida girl

'Extremely rare blood' donations needed to save 2-year-old Florida girl

Must be blood type "O" or "A".

Two-year-old Zainab is battling an aggressive form of cancer called neuroblastoma.

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 the search for donors is far more hard than usual because she is missing an antigen, called Indian B, which most people have in their red blood cells.

Her parents' blood is not compatible, said the child's father Raheel Mughal.

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.

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.

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.

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Locating people who are missing the Indian B antigen comes down to genetics.

To be a donor, a person must have blood type A or O and they must be missing the same antigen - otherwise Zainab's body will reject the blood. But the fact that she needs a specific blood type makes the search even more complicated.

Still, more blood is needed, and organization officials are looking to secure at least seven to 10 matching donors. The donors who belong to the rare blood group should coordinate with OneBlood to ensure the other additional compatibility testing is performer before donation.

Her dad told OneBlood that he, his wife and most of their families donated, but were not a match.

Three donors have so far been located but Zainab will need more blood than they can provide.

"My daughter's life very much depends on the blood", Mughal said, describing the plea for help as a "humble request" from his heart.

Blood samples of potential donors will be tested by OneBlood for compatibility.

OneBlood is working with the American Rare Donor Programme in an attempt to find donors in the States and overseas, and will co-ordinate all donations anywhere in the world.

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