SIOUX CITY, Iowa — LifeServe Blood Center is joining a worldwide search to find some of the rarest blood in the world.
It’s needed to help save 2-year-old Zainab, a Florida girl battling 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 exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent. That means the donor’s birth parents are both 100% Pakistani, Indian, or Iranian. The donors must also be blood type A or O. Of these populations, less than 4% of the people are actually missing the Indian B antigen.
So far three matching donors have been located, including two matching donors from the United States.
While that’s promising, additional donors are needed to support Zainab’s long-term blood needs. LifeServe Blood Center along with other community blood centers in America are sharing Zainab’s story in the hopes more people who meet the specific donor criteria will come forward to donate for the little girl.
If you think you’re a match, please call LifeServe Blood Center at 800-287-4903.