South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

05 December, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Zainab Mughal

A worldwide search is on to find blood donors with a rare genetic variation to help save a 2-year-old South Florida girl battling cancer. But OneBlood, the lab facilitating the search, said in a press release that she needs more blood than the three donors have given for her treatment.

As per the details mentioned by Zainab's family and her doctors, donors must be of Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian lineage. 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.

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 suffers from Neuroblastoma, a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells around the adrenal glands and most commonly affects children 5 or younger.

The tumor inside Zainab Mughal's belly may have been growing for 10 months without anyone knowing.

"My daughter, she is still a long way away from being ideal", said Raheel Mughal, Zainab's father. Around 800 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. "This was the worst thing we were expecting". Indian B, which most people carry in their red blood cells. This is the first time OneBlood has ever received an worldwide donor for a local patient. None of Zainab's family have turned out to be matches, Mughal said.


To be a donor, a person must have blood type A or O and they must be missing the same antigen - otherwise her body will reject the blood.

According to her father, none of her relatives who donated are a match, but three donors have been located in the United Kingdom.

Zainab's parents however are not compatible donors.

"The possibility of us finding a compatible donor for this little girl within the right ethnic group we want to screen is less than four percent", says Frieda Bright, OneBlood's Reference Laboratory Manager.

"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.

"What you're doing to save a human life, my daughter's life, is fantastic", says Mughal.

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