South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

Zainab Mughal

OneBlood, a local not-for-profit blood center is leading the search for Zainab, a Miami girl who is battling neuroblastoma, a very aggressive form of cancer.

OneBlood has orchestrated the search for Zainab as she will need numerous blood transfusions in the future.

In order to be a match for Zainab, the donor must be Pakistani, Indian or Iranian - meaning the donor's birth parents would have to be 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian - and must have a blood type of "O" or "A". The blood donors should be missing the Indian B antigen as well or Zainab would reject the blood.

Zainab Mughal was diagnosed with neuroblastoma two months ago. This makes finding a match for her life-saving transfusions hard.

"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", Frieda Bright, OneBlood's Reference Laboratory Manager said.

So far, more than 1,000 local donations, as well as some in other parts of the country, have been tested, but only three matching donors have been found, with one located in the United Kingdom. "This was the worst thing we were expecting".

'We were all crying, ' said Zainab's father Raheel Mughal in an interview with OneBlood.

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.

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

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.

Zainab will need up to seven more people to donate throughout the course of her treatment, according to the organization.

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

The non-profit blood donation organization OneBlood launched a campaign in a bid to find people who can donate blood to Zainab Mughal.

Are you a match for Zainab's blood type?

Must be blood type "O" or "A". The donors who belong to the rare blood group should coordinate with OneBlood to ensure the other additional compatibility testing is performer before donation.

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

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