Toddler with rare blood type sparks worldwide search for donor

WPLGZainab Mughal 2 is in good spirits despite already receiving four rounds of chemotherapy to treat her high-risk neuroblastoma her parents said

To help the child in her fight against cancer, the non-profit blood donation organization OneBlood launched a campaign dedicated to finding people with the right blood type who can donate blood for Zainab.

The girl, Zainab, is battling a very aggressive form of cancer called neuroblastoma.

Donors must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent. But OneBlood, the lab facilitating the search, said in a press release that she needs more blood than the three donors have given for her treatment.

'We were all crying, ' said Zainab's father Raheel Mughal in an interview with OneBlood.

The two-year-old from South Florida, Zainab suffers from Neuroblastoma, a cancer that grows from immature nerve cells surrounding the adrenal glands that affects children of five years of age or under.

But statistically speaking, very few people have Indian B antigen missing from their blood, which makes finding a match virtually hard if not impossible. Narrowing the field further is the fact that donors would also need to be missing the "Indian B" antigen commonly found in blood, just like Zainab.

The problem is that Zainab has a rare blood type.

"We will definitely need more blood", Mughal said.

Raheel Mughal and Mariam Mehmood pleaded with the public to donate blood and give their young daughter a chance at surviving

Even within that population, only 4% of people have the unusual genetic variation, according to OneBlood, the Florida-based charity that is leading the search.

But of those, only three donors have her rare blood type - including one in London.

The organization said statistics show the only people who are likely to be a match for her are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent.

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

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".

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

OneBlood, a not-for-profit organisation, is offering to co-ordinate compatibility testing anywhere in the world.

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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