Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type

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The little girl, identified as Zainab, 2, was diagnosed just a few weeks ago with neuroblastoma, a rare kind of blood cancer that typically only strikes children ages 5 and younger, WPLG reports.

Zainab Mughal, from Tallahassee in south Florida, has neuroblastoma and needs life-saving transfusions and bone marrow transplants. But finding compatible donors is immensely challenging, because she's missing a common antigen most people carry in their blood, called "Indian B".

Donors must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian descent, which means the donor's birth parents must both be 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian and the blood type must be "O" or "A". But OneBlood says Zainab is going to need a lot more blood than three donors can provide to beat the cancer.

Zainab's parents however are not compatible donors.

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Zainab's tumor was found in her stomach two months ago, but doctors believe it may have been growing undetected for nearly ten months. Because the antigen is so common, it makes it hard to find blood donors who are lacking it as well, Forbes said. She was then diagnosed with cancer.

So far, at least three donors have been found, two in the United Kingdom and one in the U.S. 'This was the worst thing we were expecting'. "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood".

According to St Jude Children's Research Hospital, neuroblastoma accounts for seven to 10 percent of childhood cancers.

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. In about 2 out of 3 cases, the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body upon diagnosis.

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Raheel Mughal, Zainab's father said, "My daughter, she is still a long way away from being flawless". None of Zainab's family have turned out to be matches, Mughal said.

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

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

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