'Unprecedented' response in worldwide hunt for rare blood to save toddler

South Florida girl in need of rare blood to fight cancer

By Colette DuChanois - Web producer, Associated Press
OneBlood

Thousands have responded to a worldwide search to find blood donors with a rare genetic variation to help save a 2-year-old South Florida girl battling cancer.

Zainab Mughal has neuroblastoma and needs lifesaving transfusions. But finding compatible donors is immensely challenging, because she's missing a common antigen most people carry in their blood, called "Indian B."

As of Friday, Florida-based OneBlood says it had received more than 15,000 emails from people who potentially meet the donor criteria since the story was made public on Monday.

"The response from the public is unprecedented and we remain hopeful we will find additional compatible donors for Zaina," reads a news release Friday from OneBlood, which has a main campus in Jacksonville. 

RELATED: Worldwide hunt for rare blood to save life of 2-year-old Miami girl

OneBlood says the donors must have "A'' or "O'' type blood and be Pakistani, Indian or  Iranian; and that even within these ethnic groups, fewer than 4 percent of people have the genetic variation.

OneBlood is offering to coordinate compatibility testing anywhere in the world.

Donation information and locations can be found at www.oneblood.org/zainab. 

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