A worldwide search is underway to find a donor with an incredibly rare type of blood needed to save a 2-year-old girl from Florida. Zainab Mughal, who has neuroblastoma, requires life-saving transfusion to help her tackle her illness.
Zainab is missing the “Indian B” antigen in her blood due to a genetic mutation. Due to this mutation, health experts say the possibility of finding a compatible donor who must be Iranian, Indian, or Pakistani, is less than 4 percent. Zainab’s donor must also have an “A” or “O” blood type.
According to her father, after several tests, none of her relatives who donated are a match. Three donors have been located in the United Kingdom, but according to OneBlood, the lab facilitating the search, the toddler needs between seven and ten donors to complete her treatment. To help the family in their time of need, the lab is offering to coordinate testing for anyone who believes they fit the criteria.
The family’s plea began two months ago after doctors discovered a tumor that had been growing undetected in the 2-year-old’s stomach, later being diagnosed with cancer. Neuroblastoma most often occurs in infants and young children, accounting for 6 percent of all cancers in children, affecting immature or developing cells. The term Neuro refers to nerves, while blastoma refers to cancer that affects developing or immature cells.
According to the American Cancer Society, there at 800 new cases of neuroblastoma diagnosed each year. In 2 out 3 cases, the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body upon diagnosis.
If you think you are compatible with Zainab, you can visit Oneblood (click here) and sign up for testing. To donate, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent – meaning the donor’s birth parents are both 100% Pakistani, Indian or Iranian
- You must be blood type “O” or “A”
- All donations for Zainab must be coordinated in advance to ensure the additional compatibility testing is performed.