Rhode Islanders roll up their sleeves to help toddler with rare blood type

Rhode Islanders roll up their sleeves to help toddler with rare blood type. (WJAR)

Nilofar Syed spent her Sunday morning donating blood.

The Hope resident says she had always thought about doing it before but it was one little girl's story that pushed her to finally roll up her sleeve.

"I realized I met most of those requirements, so it was at least worth a shot I felt to at least find out if I could be a match," said Syed.

So she attended a special blood drive that was held Sunday at the Rhode Island Blood Center, looking for a match for two year old Zainab, a Florida toddler with an aggressive form of cancer who has a rare blood type.

"She's missing the Indian B Antigen in her blood so that makes it extremely rare," said Nauman Malik of the Rhode Island Blood Center.

People they're looking for to donate for Zainab have to be 100 percent Indian, Pakistani or Iranian, among other criteria.

"They have to be either Type A or Type O and should not have traveled to those countries in the last twelve months so that's a very steep criteria and narrow pool of donors to draw from," said Malik.

The Florida toddler needs at least 7 to 10 people who can donate the amount of blood she'll need to undergo the cancer treatment she requires.

So far, only 4 have been found worldwide.

For those who missed Sunday’s drive and would like to donate blood to see if they’re a match for Zainab, you can contact the Rhode Island Blood Center and make an appointment.

Use this contact formL https://www.ribc.org/contact-us.

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