Search for rare blood donor to save little girl’s life

By | December 4, 2018

A worldwide search is under way to find specific donors with a rare blood type who could help save a two-year-old girl with an aggressive cancer.

Zainab Mughal, from Tallahassee in south Florida, has neuroblastoma and needs life-saving transfusions and bone marrow transplants.

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

Zainab Mughal
Image: The child needs life-saving transfusions and bone marrow transplants

Donors must have an A or O blood type, be of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, and have the same missing antigen – or Zainab’s body will reject the blood.

And even within these ethnic groups, fewer than 4% have the genetic variation.

Zainab Mughal
Image: Her parents’ blood isn’t compatible, says the child’s father Raheel Mughal

A donor’s birth parents must both be 100% Pakistani, Indian or Iranian.

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

But of those, only three donors have her rare blood type – including one in London.

However Zainab will need more blood than they can provide.

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

Zainab Mughal
Image: Finding compatible donors is extremely difficult

“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.

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“My daughter’s life very much depends on the blood. So, please, donate the blood for my daughter.”

OneBlood, a not-for-profit organisation, is offering to co-ordinate compatibility testing anywhere in the world.

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