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

Zainab Mughal

Image Her parents' blood isn't compatible says the child's father Raheel Mughal

There is a worldwide search underway to find a matching donor for a 2-year-old Florida girl with some of the rarest blood in the world who is battling cancer.

Additional donors are still needed, OneBlood says, as Zainab will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future.

Donors need to be exclusively of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, meaning both parents must be 100 percent of one of these ethnicities. Narrowing the field further is the fact that donors would also need to be missing the "Indian B" antigen commonly found in blood, just like Zainab.

However Zainab will need more blood than they can provide.

According to The Miami Herald, the family's plight began two months ago after doctors discovered a tumor that had been growing undetected in Zainab's stomach.

Her parents' blood is not compatible, said the child's father Raheel Mughal. According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 800 new cases of neuroblastoma diagnosed each year. "This was the worst thing we were expecting". OneBlood says her dire situation is complicated by her blood type since she is missing a common antigen that most people carry in their red blood cells.

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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. This is the first time OneBlood has ever received an worldwide donor for a local patient.

The only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, OneBlood said.

Less than four percent of the world's population has the blood type Zainab needs to undergo treatment, which includes frequent blood transfusions, Forbes said.

More than 1,000 donations have been tested to match her blood.

"It's a humble request and I request it from my heart", Mughal said in the video.

Because of the requirements needed to be met, OneBlood made a decision to go worldwide with its search in hopes of finding 7-10 donors to help over the course of Zainab's treatment. "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood".

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