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

Mughal 2 is in need of a rare blood type to support her treatment for neuroblastoma

Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

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

Zainab Mughal, from South Florida, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer in the nerve cells - and needs life-saving blood transfusions as she undergoes chemotherapy.

Donors must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian descent, which means the donor's birth parents must both be 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian and the blood type must be "O" or "A". But her family believes the tumor in her stomach had been growing for at least 10 months before that, her father, Raheel Mughal, said in a video published by OneBlood, the organization aiding the family's search for Zainab's blood supply.

Neuroblastoma most often occurs in infants and young children, and accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers in children.

A worldwide search is under way to find specific donors with a rare blood type who could help save a two-year-old girl with an aggressive cancer.

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.

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.

Mughal 2 is missing a common Indian-B antigen meaning she’ll need a rare donor who is also missing that antigen
Mughal 2 is missing a common Indian-B antigen meaning she’ll need a rare donor who is also missing that antigen

Zainab's blood is missing a common antigen that most people carry on their red blood cells.

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.

Around 800 children in the United States are diagnosed each year with the disease and most are diagnosed when they are younger than five.

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

But of those, only three donors have her rare blood type - including one in London. Visit www.oneblood.org/zainab for donation information. The girl needs to be completely supported by blood donations so she can survive the treatment that is needed to kill cancer. "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood".

OneBlood is now working in tandem with other blood centres and American Rare Donor Program to find a flawless blood match for Zainab.

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

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