South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

05 December, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Zainab Mughal

A worldwide search is on to find some of the rarest blood in the world for a two-year-old girl fighting an aggressive cancer.

Zainab's tumor was found in her stomach two months ago, but doctors believe it may have been growing undetected for nearly ten months. But her family believes the tumor in her stomach had been growing for at least 10 months before that, her father, Raheel Mughal, said in a video published by OneBlood, the organization aiding the family's search for Zainab's blood supply.

OneBlood says people who are of Indian, Pakistani or Iranian descent are statistically the only people to be a possible donor match for Zainab, and of those groups, less than 4 percent are missing the Indian B antigen. "This was the worst thing we were expecting".

Her parents' blood is not compatible, said the child's father Raheel Mughal.

While the blood won't cure Zainab's cancer, it will allow her to undergo two bone marrow transplants, which will make her stronger and allow doctors to give her higher doses of chemotherapy, Forbes said.

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Neuroblastoma most often occurs in infants and young children, and accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers in children. Around 800 new cases are diagnosed in the United States every year. 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.

OneBlood runs blood donor centers across the Southeast. This means that both the parents of the donors must be from Pakistan, India or Iran and the blood type should be either "O" or "A". None of Zainab's family have turned out to be matches, Mughal said.

OneBlood, a not-for-profit organisation, is offering to co-ordinate compatibility testing anywhere in the world. The donor must also be missing the Indian B antigen, or the little girl's body will reject the blood. So far, more than 1,000 local donations, as well as donations from other parts of the country have been tested and no additional matches have been identified.

"We need to find more.it's a humble request, and I request it from my heart", added Mr Mughal, who is pleading for help. "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood".

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