MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A two-year-old Miami girl with a rare blood type who is battling cancer is getting some help from a New York woman.
The woman, who is a match to Zainab’s blood type, is donating two units. The woman had donated her own blood while pregnant in case she needed a transfusion during her delivery. Luckily, she didn’t need it and has agreed to give it to Zainab who has neuroblastoma.
Susan Forbes of Florida-based OneBlood says that transfer still needs approval from the FDA and the woman isn’t eligible to donate yet after giving birth.
OneBlood is asking for donors for the girl, whose blood lacks an antigen most people carry.
Zainab’s blood type is extraordinarily 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 her, they must also be missing the Indian B antigen.
Statistically, the only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent. Of these populations, less than four percent of the people are actually missing the Indian B antigen.
Nearly two dozen blood centers are actively working with OneBlood to find compatible donors. Testing is taking place around-the-clock.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)