2-year-old girl battling cancer needs extremely rare blood

Kenny Tucker
December 7, 2018

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.

Zainab Mughal, from Miami in Florida, has neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, which means she needs a series of blood transfusions.

Donors need to be exclusively of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, meaning both parents must be 100 percent of one of these ethnicities.

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.

While the blood won't cure Zainab's cancer, it will allow her to undergo two bone marrow transplants, which will make her stronger and allow doctors to give her higher doses of chemotherapy, Forbes said. Doctors most often diagnose the condition in children younger than the age of 5 years.

A 2-year-old Florida girl with cancer needs transfusions of an extremely rare blood type "for the foreseeable future", according to a blood-donation organization conducting a worldwide search for enough donors to meet her needs.

That's because Zainab is missing a common antigen that most people carry on their red blood cells, called "Indian B".

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Around 800 children in the USA are diagnosed each year with the disease and most are diagnosed when they are younger than five. "The possibility of us finding a compatible donor for this little girl within the right ethnic group is less than 4 percent". I encourage everybody to please go out and donate blood.

Must coordinate all donations for Zainab with OneBlood in advance, to ensure the additional compatibility testing is performed. As of OneBlood's December 3 release, more than 1,000 donors have been tested and three have been identified.

OneBlood is said to be working closely with other blood centers and the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP), an organization that searches the world for rare blood donors.

"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.

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

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

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