A worldwide search is in search of a donor with an incredibly rare blood type needed to rescue a two-year-old girl in Florida. Zainab Mughal, who has a neuroblastoma and needs life-saving transfusions, misses the "Indian B" antigen in his blood due to a genetic mutation.
Due to the mutation, experts say it is possible to find a compatible donor that must be Pakistanis, Indians or Iranians are "less than 4 percent". The Zainab donor must also have a blood group "O" or "A". None of their relatives who donated is a match, but three donors were based in the UK. But OneBlood, the lab that facilitates the search, said in a press release that she needed more blood than the three donors for her treatment. OneBlood, which has indicated the ideal number of donors between the ages of seven and ten, provides the ability to coordinate the tests for anyone who thinks they meet the criteria.
"These are all hands on deck," said Frieda Bright, director of OneBlood Reference Laboratory, in a video for the search. "We seek the world to try to find blood for this little girl."
According to The Miami Herald, the plight of the family began two months ago after doctors discovered a tumor that had grown undetected in Zainab's stomach. She was then diagnosed with cancer.
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Neuroblastoma is most prevalent in infants and toddlers, accounting for about 6 percent of all childhood cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, about 800 new cases of neuroblastoma are diagnosed each year. In about two out of three cases, the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body at diagnosis.
"We all cried," said the girl's father, Raheel Mughal, according to Miami Herald. "This was the worst thing we expected."