Worldwide hunt for rare blood to help Miami girl fight cancer

Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer sparks worldwide search

After hearing the news, Zainab's parents and relatives immediately donated their blood, her dad told the organization. A global search is underway. She's part of a team that works around the clock, 365 days a year, to identify and catalogue units of rare blood and, when possible, fulfill requests.

This is the reason why it's that much more hard to find someone else who's blood is also missing the Indian-B Antigen. "The possibility of us finding a compatible donor for this little girl within the right ethnic group is less than 4 percent". "We are searching the world to try to find blood for this little girl". They also need to have a blood type of either "A" or "O".

This means donors who are missing the same antigen must be found. In addition, they must have type O or A blood.

OneBlood is conducting all compatibility testing of potential donors.

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Thus far, three donors have been found, two from the United States and one from England, but Zainab will need more blood than they can provide. But those people still get into accidents or come down with diseases like everyone else, so there's a network of blood centers that specialize in rare blood, keeping a database of scarce combinations of antibodies and shuttling it across the country to patients in need.

Zainab's family has expressed their gratitude for efforts to help her. They were unavailable to speak with CNN directly.

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. "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". A blood group is considered rare if one in a 1,000 has a certain antigen, or lacks a certain antigen. The program, a collaboration between the American Red Cross and AABB, formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks, is working with OneBlood to secure more rare blood for Zainab.

"It's a humble request, and I request it from my heart", Mughal said in a video produced by OneBlood. "If you are one of those people from the Middle East, please go out and donate blood for my daughter", he said. "My daughter's life very much depends on the blood..."

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