Extremely rare blood needed to save 2-year-old South Florida girl

Zainab Mughal

Then, about two months ago, the 2-year-old's parents got a devastating diagnosis - Zainab has neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that mainly affects children.

OneBlood, a local not-for-profit blood center is leading the search for Zainab, a Miami girl who is battling neuroblastoma, a very aggressive form of cancer.

Zainab Mughal, 2, is missing a common Indian-B antigen, meaning she'll need a rare donor who is also missing that antigen.

The reason it needs such a wide-reaching effort: Zainab requires "O" or "A" blood types, and only from donors whose birth parents are 100% Iranian, Pakistani, or Indian.

OneBlood says it has found three matches so far, one near London and two in the USA, but she will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future, which means more donors must be found.

OneBlood is coordinating compatibility testing and asks that prospective donors specify that they are looking to donate for Zainab, so the blood can be tagged for testing. Because the antigen is so common, it makes it hard to find blood donors who are lacking it as well, Forbes said.

Zainab Mughal, two (left and right), from South Florida, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer of the nerve cells - in October.

Zainab Mughal
Image The child needs life-saving transfusions and bone marrow transplants

However Zainab will need more blood than they can provide.

According to St Jude Children's Research Hospital, neuroblastoma accounts for seven to 10 percent of childhood cancers.

So far, OneBlood has located three matches, including one in the United Kingdom near London, with the help of the American Rare Donor Program, Forbes said.

Raheel Mughal, Zainab's father said, "My daughter, she is still a long way away from being flawless".

Statistically, donors need to be exclusively of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent. And more than 1,000 people who are of Iranian, Indian or Pakistani descent have donated blood to be tested, Forbes said.

'We need to find more.It's a humble request, and I request it from my heart, ' said Raheel Mughal said in the video.

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

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