OneBlood needs donor for girl with extremely rare blood type

Zainab's blood is extremely rare because she is missing a common antigen that most people carry on their red blood cells.                        Pablo Olivieri  OneBlood

Zainab requires donations from individuals who are either type "O" or type "A". So, like Zainab, her donors need to be missing the antigen. "Zainab will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future". "We were all crying". 'This was the worst thing we were expecting'. All donations must be coordinated in advance to ensure compatibility. To their dismay, the family learned that they all weren't a match.

"And that's when it became more of an alert", Mughal said.

OneBlood said it is working closely with other blood centers and the American Rare Donor Program, an organization that searches the world for rare blood donors. Of these populations, less than 4 percent of the people are actually missing the Indian B antigen. But finding compatible donors is immensely challenging, because she's missing a common antigen most people carry in their blood, called "Indian B". They also need to have a blood type of either "A" or "O".

But a small percentage of people - including Zainab - produce antibodies in the presence or absence of certain antigens, prompting the body to reject the blood. "We now have to provide more specialty matched blood for this child", said OneBlood reference laboratory manager Frieda Bright.

That's a big part of Bright's job.

Now, her parents are pleading for anyone who believes they may be a match for their daughter to come forward and donate before it's too late.

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

Compatibility screening will occur for these potential donors.

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 worldwide donor for a local patient.

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

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

OneBlood says it has found three matches so far, one near London and two in the US, but she will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future, which means more donors must be found.

Must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, meaning the donor's birth parents are both 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian. But her father hopes to one day explain to her how a group of people they did not know helped save her life.

Her life is very much dependent on it, he said in a video plea. "Once my daughter grows, I'm going to remind her that the effort was made for you to save your life".

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

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