South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

Zainab Mughal

A worldwide search is underway to find some of the rarest blood in the world to help a 2-year-old Florida girl battling cancer.

But finding compatible donors is extremely hard because she does not have a common antigen called Indian B that most people carry in their blood.

The blood is even harder to find because the donors must have blood types "O" or "A" and be 100 percent of Indian, Iranian or Pakistani descent, Forbes said. 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 is missing a common antigen most people carry in their blood, dropping the amount of compatible donors down to less than four percent.

OneBlood, which runs blood donor centers across the Southeast, is sharing Zainab's story in the hopes more people who meet the specific donor criteria will come forward to donate for the little girl. Zainab's donor must also have an "O" or "A" blood type.

Zainab's tumor was found in her stomach two months ago, but doctors believe it may have been growing undetected for nearly ten months.

So far, at least three donors have been found, two in the United Kingdom and one in the U.S.

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Raheel Mughal, Zainab's father said, "My daughter, she is still a long way away from being ideal". "This was the worst thing we were expecting". "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood".

The cancer can spread to tissues beyond the original site, including bone marrow, bone, lymph nodes, liver and skin.

The two-year-old from South Florida, Zainab suffers from Neuroblastoma, a cancer that grows from immature nerve cells surrounding the adrenal glands that affects children of five years of age or under.

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

"This is all hands on deck", Bright said in the video.

Because of the requirements needed to be met, OneBlood chose to go worldwide with its search in hopes of finding 7-10 donors to help over the course of Zainab's treatment.

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