ORLANDO, Fla. — A fifth donor match has been found for a South Florida toddler with a rare blood type, just in time for the little girl to celebrate her 3rd birthday.
One-Blood has been helping in the international search for blood donor matches for Zainab, who has been battling neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer.
The fifth compatible blood donor was found in Australia. American Rare Donor Program (ARDP) were told by international colleagues about the discovery of the fifth donor and arrangements for units of the blood to be flown have been made.
The donor has been determined to be 100 percent compatible with Zainab.
One-Blood is looking for a total of seven to 10 donors for her long-term blood transfusion needs. Two of the five donors were found in the United Kingdom and two were found in the United States.
Her blood is extremely rare because she is missing a common antigen that most people have in their red blood cells. The antigen is called "Indian B," and donors must also be missing the Indian B antigen to be a match, according to OneBlood.
The only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent. And, of those populations, less than 4 percent are missing the antigen, according to statistics.
One-Blood has tested more than 3,500 units of blood to search for compatible blood matches.
Donors must meet the following criteria to be a match, according to OneBlood:
- Must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent – meaning the donor’s birth parents are both 100% Pakistani, Indian or Iranian
- Must be blood type “O” or “A” (If a donor does not know their blood type, but meet the requirements in bullet point No. 1, they should still donate to see if they are a possible match)
- IMPORTANT: Donors must inform their phlebotomist prior to their donation that they are donating for Zainab to ensure their donation receives the additional compatibility testing necessary to determine if they are a match for Zainab.
- Donation information can be found at www.oneblood.org/zainab.
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