Little girl’s life hanging on search for rare blood donor

Two-year-old Zainab Mughal has a cancer called neuroblastoma which develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. She's also missing a particular antigen in her blood an anomaly only found in people from certain areas of the

Two-year-old Zainab Mughal has a cancer called neuroblastoma which develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. She's also missing a particular antigen in her blood an anomaly only found in people from certain areas of the

She'll need to undergo two bone marrow transplants, a series of blood transfusions and chemotherapy to shrink a tumor in her abdomen.

If they may match this criteria, individuals are asked to mention this when they schedule an appointment to donate at MVRBC.

"We have a zero percent chance of finding compatible blood for this little girl if we look in pretty much any other ethnic group", Frieda Bright, a lab manager with OneBlood, said in a video provided by the organization.

Only people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent who have the same type of blood as Zainab, whose family hails from Pakistan, are likely to match with her.

The patient, who the organization has only identified as "Zainab", has an aggressive childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, and an extremely rare blood type, where she's missing an antigen called Indian B or Inb.

More than 1,000 people of Iranian, Indian or Pakistani descent have donated blood in an attempt to see if they are compatible with Zainab. Doctors said the tumor had been growing inside Zainab's abdomen for almost half of her life.

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So the Mughals have had to turn their search to the rest of the world, relying on the goodness of strangers to save their baby girl.

"The results came in and the results were really bad", her father, Raheel Mughal, said in a video. For the majority of people, getting the blood type right is all that matters.

OneBlood is conducting all compatibility testing of potential donors.

Since sharing her story on their site, Zainab has luckily found three donors already, including one from the United Kingdom - the first time OneBlood has received an global donor for a local patient - but she will need approximately four to six more donors in order to survive. The girl needs to be completely supported by blood donations so she can survive the treatment that is needed to kill cancer.

"Rare blood is the blood that you don't have when you need it no matter what", Nance said. Still, Zainab's case is so rare that Bright - who's worked in the industry for 20 years - had to go to a textbook to learn more about it. "And once my daughter grows, I'm going to remind her, you know, that the effort was made for you in order to save your life".

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