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05 December 2018, 01:33 | Melissa Porter
In pursuit of ‘rare blood type: Global campaign underway for two-year-old Muslim girl from Miami
There is a worldwide search underway to find a matching donor for a 2-year-old Florida girl with some of the rarest blood in the world who is battling cancer.
OneBlood says it has found three matches so far, one near London and two in the USA, but she will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future, which means more donors must be found.
Donors need to be exclusively of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, meaning both parents must be 100 percent of one of these ethnicities.
A good donor for Zainab would also be missing the Indian B antigen or she would reject the blood.
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.
Zainab will need up to seven more people to donate throughout the course of her treatment, according to the organization.
Neuroblastoma most often occurs in infants and young children, and accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers in children.
"My daughter, she is still a long way away from being ideal", said Raheel Mughal, Zainab's father.
Mughal said his daughter's diagnosis was "the worst thing" they could have expected, until doctors discovered another problem.
Zainab's blood is extremely rare because she is missing a common antigen that most people carry on their red blood cells.
Florida-based OneBlood, a nonprofit blood center, has now been conducting an global search to find compatible blood donors. Because the antigen is so common, it makes it hard to find blood donors who are lacking it as well, Forbes said.
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