Worldwide Plea For Donors Goes Out To Help Florida Girl With Rare Blood Type
A worldwide search is on for donors of an extremely rare blood type needed to help a South Florida toddler undergoing cancer treatment.
Only people of certain ethnicities may be a match. Two-year-old Zainab Mughal has neuroblastoma, which is a nerve cell cancer that mostly affects children under the age of 5.
As a doctor and cancer survivor, Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville President Vara Suresh understands the need for the blood.
“The chemo is so aggressive, it kills all the platelets and white blood count drops drastically. So they have to keep transfusing the baby. That’s the reason why I think they are in need of blood. So we are more than happy to help, from the community point of view,” Suresh.
Zainab’s blood is missing a component called the Indian-B antigen. Only people of direct Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent are a possible match.
The American Rare Donor program and Orlando-based One Blood are coordinating the donor search with blood banks around the world, including Life South here on the First Coast.
Spokeswoman Brite Whitaker said people can make donations in Zainab’s name.
“We send a sample to One Blood who tests the blood to see if the donor is a match for baby Zainab. If they are, that’s wonderful and that really helps with finding enough donors for her. And if not, the donation is released to be used by hospitals here in Jacksonville,” said Zainab.
Four compatable blood donors have been found since the search began last month. But, Zainab’sdoctors want to find around 10 donors to make sure she has enough for her treatment.