OneBlood searches for extremely rare blood to save two-year-old Florida girl

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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 toddler Zainab has been suffering from neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of blood cancer, and is urgently in need of transfusion and bone marrow transplant.

Donors must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent.

But the search for donors is far more hard than usual because she is missing an antigen, called Indian B, which most people have in their red blood cells.

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

Parents of a two-year-old girl from Miami, Florida are running pillar to post to find a rare blood type for their ailing daughter.

Zainab suffers from Neuroblastoma, cancer that develops from immature nerve cells around the adrenal glands and most commonly affects children 5 or younger.

Both of Zainab's parents and several relatives were tested, but no one was a match.

"The possibility of us finding a compatible donor for this little girl within the right ethnic group we want to screen is less than four percent", says Frieda Bright, OneBlood's Reference Laboratory Manager.

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Zainab's red blood cells are missing a common antigen known as Indian-B, said Susan Forbes, vice president of marketing and communications for OneBlood. Of those populations, still only 4 percent of people are actually missing the antigen.

"All donations for Zainab must be coordinated with OneBlood in advance to ensure the additional compatibility testing is performed", OneBlood said.

So far, three donors have been located - one of whom lives in the United Kingdom.

Still, more blood is needed, and organization officials are looking to secure at least seven to 10 matching donors. But the fact that she needs a specific blood type makes the search even more complicated.

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

A worldwide search is underway for what OneBlood is calling some of the rarest blood in the world. The hunt has now turned global with OneBlood, a not-for-profit organisation that procures blood and blood products, joining in the search.