Worldwide hunt for rare blood to help Miami girl fight cancer

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

A toddler with an aggressive form of cancer is relying on the kindness of strangers and a less than four per cent chance of finding a compatible blood donor in a race-against-time battle to save her life.

Most people never have to contend with the often-hidden world of rare blood transfusions.

So far, OneBlood has identified three matching donors, including two from the United States and one from the United Kingdom, which is the first time the organization has received an global donor for a local patient.

Zainab Rare Blood Donor
Zainab was diagnosed with cancer several months

"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.

Doctors told her parents the tumor in the two-year-old's abdomen had been growing for almost half of her life and would need rapid and involved treatment, including two bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy and a series of blood transfusions.

Locating people who are missing the Indian B antigen comes down to genetics.

A person's blood type is determined by antigens.

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Those who believe they would be a good match with Zainab can find more information here.

OneBlood is conducting all compatibility testing of potential donors.

That's a promising sign, but it's not enough.

Zainab Mughal, from South Florida, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer in the nerve cells - and needs life-saving blood transfusions as she undergoes chemotherapy.

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A round-the-clock hunt is underway for blood donors.

It is the missing piece of a treatment plan that doctors say is already shrinking Zainab's tumor.

"Statistically, the only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian descent", according to a news release from MVRBC. So they've launched an awareness campaign using the best weapons they have: Zainab's story, and an endless stream of adorable - occasionally toothless - baby photos. A third, post-diagnosis, shows huge brown eyes beneath a bald head.

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

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"What you're doing to save a human life, to save my daughter's life, it's awesome".

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