Miller-Keystone Blood Center is working with blood center partners across the nation and the world in order to identify blood donors needed to save the life of a two-year-old Florida child.
OneBlood, the local not-for-profit blood center serving Florida and other parts of the southeast, is leading the search to find some of the rarest blood in the world. It’s needed to help save two-year-old Zainab, a South Florida girl who is battling neuroblastoma, a very aggressive form of cancer.
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. Locating people who are missing the Indian B antigen comes down to genetics.
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 4% of the people are actually missing the Indian B antigen.
Miller-Keystone Blood Center and OneBlood are both members of the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP), an organization that searches the world for rare blood donors. OneBlood is working closely with ARDP, and thus far, three matching donors have been located, including a donor that ARDP located in the United Kingdom, near London. The other two matching donors are from the United States.
While it’s promising the three donors have been located, additional donors are needed to support the child’s long-term blood needs. Zainab’s story is being shared in the hopes more people who meet the specific donor criteria will come forward to donate for the little girl.
To be a match for Zainab a donor must meet the following criteria:
· Must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent – meaning the donor’s birth parents are both 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian
· Must be blood type “O” or “A”
If you or someone you know meets the criteria to be a potential blood donor for Zainab, please contact Miller-Keystone Blood Center at 800-B-A-DONOR (223-6667) to make arrangements for your blood donation. For additional information or to follow Zainab’s journey, visit www.oneblood.org/zainab