FL toddler battling cancer in need of extremely rare blood

Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

Zainab Mughal, who has neuroblastoma and requires life-saving transfusions, is missing the "Indian B" antigen in her blood due to a genetic mutation, complicating the search for her donor.

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.

Must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent - meaning the donor's birth parents are both 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian.

Zainab's blood is missing a common antigen.

Now, her parents are pleading for anyone who believes they may be a match for their daughter to come forward and donate before it's too late. "The possibility of us finding a compatible donor for this little girl within the right ethnic group is less than 4 percent". As of now, three donors have been located, one of whom is from the United Kingdom.

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

According to the Mayo Clinic, neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that develops out of immature nerve cells that are formed in many areas of the body.

Dr Bright further explained, "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". Doctors most often diagnose the condition in children younger than the age of 5 years.

In order to meet the said pre-requisites, the blood donation organisation has chose to expand its search across the globe with an aim to raise 7-10 donors to donate blood over the period of Zainab's treatment. Around 800 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. None of Zainab's family have turned out to be matches, Mughal said. And more than 1,000 people who are of Iranian, Indian or Pakistani descent have donated blood to be tested, Forbes said.

The missing antigen "is so rare that honestly this is the first time I've seen it in the 20 years I've been doing this", said OneBlood lab manager Frieda Bright. But the fact that she needs a specific blood type makes the search even more complicated.

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

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