Global blood search underway to save the life of two-year-old girl

Henrietta Strickland
December 6, 2018

OneBlood, a non-profit blood centre in the U.S., has explained donors of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent with A or O blood types are most likely to be suitable donors for Zainab.

Zainab is missing the "Indian B" antigen, a common antigen people carry on their blood cells, and will reject any blood that does carry it. A compatible donor must also be missing the crucial antigen.

The people most likely to have suitable blood are of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, according to OneBlood, the non-profit blood centre that is leading the search.

OneBlood is offering to coordinate compatibility testing anywhere in the world.

Sandra Nance, senior director of the ARDP, explained that OneBlood has tracked approximately 59 types of rare blood with more than 120,000 donors on the registry.

"Because she's made this antibody we now have to provide more specially matched blood for this child", said Frieda Bright, OneBlood's reference lab manager. In addition, they must have type O or A blood.

Now OneBlood is working with the American Rare Donor Program, an organisation that connects donors with needy patients across the world.

To fight the cancer, the two-year-old requires two bone marrow transplants and a series of transfusions to restore her blood supply while undergoing chemotherapy to shrink the tumour.

Raheel Mughal and Mariam Mehmood pleaded with the public to donate blood and give their young daughter a chance at surviving
Rare blood needed to save life of 2-year-old girl with cancer

The bottom line is, for a donor to be a match they must be a certain blood type and also be missing the Indian-B Antigen or the little girl's body will reject the blood, says United States organisation OneBlood.

A round-the-clock hunt is underway for blood donors. Zainab's doctors would have to line up as many as 10 donors to ensure that whenever Zainab needs a blood transfusion, she can get it.

"Lucky, thank God, they have found three donors".

"She's going to need to be completely supported by blood donations in order to survive the cancer treatment in order to kill this cancer", she said.

"My daughter, she is still a long way from being ideal", said Raheel Mughal.

But doctors are saying that the seriousness of Zainab's treatment means they'll need at least seven more. "The blood's not going to cure her, but the blood's very, very important to support her while she undergoes the treatment for this particular cancer". "If you are one of those people from the Middle East, please go out and donate blood for my daughter". "If a person has been identified as a rare donor and they're called on to give, my hope is that they will donate, if they are able".

"It's a humble request, and I request it from my heart", Mughal said in a video produced by OneBlood.

Her life is very much dependent on it, he said in a video plea.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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