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Zainab Mughal: Toddler with cancer spurs hunt for rare blood



  Zainab Mughal

Image copyright
OneBlood

Picture caption

Zainab Mughal was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer

A two year old American girl who needs several blood transfusions to fight cancer has stimulated a global campaign to find compatible donors.

Zainab Mughal has one of the rarest types of blood in the world, making it difficult to cure his condition.

Camp campaigners say more than 1

,000 people have been tested, but only three have the blood they need.

Doctors say seven to ten donors will be needed in the course of his cancer treatment [19659007] At the beginning of this year in Zainab he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of aggressive and rare cancer. which mainly affects infants and young children.

Blood transfusions will be necessary for the duration of treatment, but Zainab's blood is "extremely rare" because it lacks an antigen – "B Indian" – that most people carry in the red blood cells, says OneBlood, a non-profit blood center that is leading the search for donors

The only donors who could be a couple are people exclusively of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent and with type O or A blood, says OneBlood.

But even within these countries, less than 4% of the population will lack the Indian antigen B.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Picture caption [19659005] At least 7 to 10 suitable donors are needed

The body of Zainab will reject any blood that does not meet all the requirements.

"This is so rare that honestly this is the first time I've seen it in the 20 years I've done this," said Frieda Bright, a lab manager with OneBlood.

OneBlood is working with other blood banks and with the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP), a program that finds donors of rare blood types worldwide.

Two matching donors were found in the United States and another in the United Kingdom.

"Blood will not cure it, but it's very important for her to survive cancer treatment," Bright said in the campaign video.

Copyright of the image
OneBlood

Picture caption [19659005] A photo of Zainab Mughal, who was diagnosed with cancer in October

"We cried a lot"

Zainab's father, Raheel Mughal, said his daughter was diagnosed in October.

"We were all crying, this was the worst thing we expected," he said in a OneBlood video.

After he and the mother of Zainab tried to donate their blood, the doctors found that none of them was compatible.

"And then a lot of people in my family have gone around and donated blood and this has become more than an alarm."

According to OneBlood, chemotherapy treatment is already reducing the size of the tumor, but Zainab will eventually need two bone marrow transplants.

"My daughter's life depends very much on blood," says Mr. Mughal.

"What [donors] is doing to save my daughter's life is incredible, the work you are doing will never forget it."


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