A worldwide search for extremely rare blood is underway for a Florida toddler who is battling cancer.
Zainab Mughal, a 2-year-old girl diagnosed with neuroblastoma in October, is in need of blood missing the “Indian B” antigen.
“The results came in and the results were really bad,” her father Raheel Mughal said in a video for OneBlood, a not-for-profit blood center. “We were all crying. This was like the worst thing we were expecting.”
Due to the missing antigen that is common in red blood cells, Zainab’s body will reject any blood that contains it — making the search for blood very difficult.
People of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent are statistically the only people likely to match with Zainab.
“Of these populations, less than 4% of the people are actually missing the Indian B antigen,” OneBlood explains.
“This antibody is so rare, that honestly, this is the first time I’ve seen it, in the 20 years I’ve been doing this,” reference laboratory manager Frieda Bright told OneBlood.
Parents of the donor must both be 100% Pakistani, Indian or Iranian — and be blood type “O” or “A.”
“My daughter’s life very much depends on the blood,” Raheel Mughal said in a request for donors.
OneBlood is working with the American Rare Donor Program, an organization that looks for rare blood donors, and has found three matching donors.
However, additional donors are needed because blood transfusions will be required in Zainab’s future.
Seven to 10 compatible donors would be ideal to support her future blood needs.
For more information, potential donors should visit OneBlood.org/Zainab or call 1-888-9-Donate.