MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There is a huge response following the call for a matching blood donor for a young Florida girl with some of the rarest blood in the world who is also battling cancer.
According to OneBlood, a local not-for-profit blood center which is leading the worldwide search for Zainab, the “response is unbelievable.”
Zainab, a 2-year-old Miami girl, is battling neuroblastoma, a very aggressive form of cancer.
Since OneBlood starting getting the word out about Zainab, it has received 15-thousand emails, the majority in the U.S., from people willing to help. That doesn’t include social media responses.
OneBlood is in the process of going through all the emails and are providing other blood centers a list of the potential donors that reside in their service area. The blood centers will then coordinate the donations of the people in their area and arrange for the compatibility testing to be done with OneBlood.
Zainab’s blood is extremely rare because she is missing a common antigen that most people carry on their red blood cells. The antigen is called “Indian B” (Inb). For a person to be a possible match for Zainab, they must also be missing the Indian B antigen, or the little girl’s body will reject the blood.
The only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, and of those populations less than four percent of the people are missing the Indian B antigen.
OneBlood says it has found three matches so far, one near London and two in the U.S., but she will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future, which means more donors must be found.
The group says they are looking for at least 7 to 10 compatible donors.
To see if you are compatible, go to the OneBlood page created for Zainab. All donations must be coordinated in advance to ensure compatibility.
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.
Locally, the Iranian American Foundation is holding a blood drive Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm at 6669 SW 59th Place in Miami.
There are also blood drives taking place in Tampa and Orlando today.
OneBlood is conducting all compatibility testing of potential donors.