ORLANDO, Fla. – Representatives with Central Florida nonprofit OneBlood are still searching for more donors for a South Florida girl named Zainab who has neuroblastoma, an extremely aggressive form of cancer.
OneBlood is seeking at least two more donors for Zainab, who turned 3 years old on Thursday. Her blood lacks an antigen most people carry. The donor must be Pakistani, Indian or Iranian, and even within these groups, fewer than 4 percent of the population has the genetic variation.
After a worldwide search, five donors with the rare blood type have been found, but OneBlood said she still needs a few more. The nonprofit would ideally like to find 10 donors. Volunteer donors have been found as far away as Australia.
According to a news release, Zainah is currently in the hospital receiving intensive chemotherapy treatments and is expected to undergo a bone marrow transplant on Monday. Blood transfusions will play an important role for her during this time.
OneBlood is working with other groups, including the American Rare Donor Program, an organization that searches worldwide for rare blood donors, to find matches for Zainab, as she will need blood transfusions for the foreseeable future.
Are you a match for Zainab's blood type? According to OneBlood, you must meet the following criteria:
- Must be exclusively of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent, meaning the donor’s birth parents are both 100% Pakistani, Indian or Iranian
- Must have Type O or Type A blood
- Must coordinate all donations for Zainab with OneBlood in advance to ensure the additional compatibility testing is performed.
Visit www.oneblood.org/zainab for more donation information.