Zainab Mughal, who has neuroblastoma and requires life-saving transfusions, is missing the "Indian B" antigen in her blood due to a genetic mutation, complicating the search for her donor. Narrowing the field further is the fact that donors would also need to be missing the "Indian B" antigen commonly found in blood, just like Zainab.
OneBlood says that people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian descent.
Thus far, three donors have been found, two from the U.S. and one from England, but Zainab will need more blood than they can provide.
OneBlood, which said the ideal number of donors is between seven and 10, is offering to coordinate testing for anyone who believes they fit the criteria.
Zainab's tumor was found in her stomach two months ago, but doctors believe it may have been growing undetected for nearly ten months. Of these populations, less than 4 percent of the people are actually missing the Indian B antigen.
Mughal 2 is missing a common Indian-B antigen meaning she’ll need a rare donor who is also missing that antigen
Zainab Mughal, two (left and right), from South Florida, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer of the nerve cells - in October.
Neuroblastoma most often occurs in infants and young children, and accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers in children.
"We now have to provide more specialty matched blood for this child", said Frieda Bright, the reference laboratory manager for OneBlood, in a video produced by the organization. Around 800 new cases are diagnosed in the United States every year. 'This was the worst thing we were expecting'.
As the search continues, the little girl's family is already expressing gratitude to all the people who have shown up with a desire to help Zainab in her battle with cancer.
Her parents' blood is not compatible, said the child's father Raheel Mughal. So far, three donors have been found.
"My daughter's life very much depends on the blood", Mughal said, describing the plea for help as a "humble request" from his heart.More news: Blood test to detect cancer within just 10 minutes developed by scientists