Friday, 14 December, 2018

South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

Worldwide Donor Hunt to Help Girl with Rare Blood Type In pursuit of ‘rare blood type: Global campaign underway for two-year-old Muslim girl from Miami
Ben Pena | 06 December, 2018, 15:45

For the said goal, a global quest is underway to find a rare blood type.

Zainab Mughal, from Tallahassee in south Florida, has neuroblastoma and needs life-saving transfusions and bone marrow transplants.

A good donor for Zainab would also be missing the Indian B antigen or she would reject the blood.

Due to the mutation, experts say the possibility of finding a compatible donor who must be Pakistani, Indian or Iranian, is "less than 4 percent".

In order to meet the said pre-requisites, the blood donation organisation has made a decision to expand its search across the globe with an aim to raise 7-10 donors to donate blood over the period of Zainab's treatment.

Zainab's parents however are not compatible donors.

According to The Miami Herald, the family's plight began two months ago after doctors discovered a tumor that had been growing undetected in Zainab's stomach.

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

Zainab Mughal, two (left and right), from South Florida, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer of the nerve cells - in October.

Universal Cancer Test: One Test to Diagnose Them All?
They add that the team is developing the test so that it could be used for screening of cancers especially in early stages. The new method from the University of Queensland looks for differences in the genetic code of cancerous and healthy cells.

"We will definitely need more blood", Mughal said.

So far, three matching donors have been found worldwide, including a donor in the United Kingdom. "This was the worst thing we were expecting". In about 2 out of 3 cases, the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body upon diagnosis.

According to St Jude Children's Research Hospital, neuroblastoma accounts for seven to 10 percent of childhood cancers.

The only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, OneBlood said.

OneBlood, which runs blood donor centers across the Southeast, is sharing Zainab's story in the hopes more people who meet the specific donor criteria will come forward to donate for the little girl.

"This is all hands on deck", Bright said in the video.

Her dad told OneBlood that he, his wife and most of their families donated, but were not a match.

"What you're doing to save a human life, my daughter's life, is incredible", shared Mughal.

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