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LifeSouth searches for rare blood to help two-year-old

MADISON – A community agency is searching for anyone with a rare blood type that can help to save a two-year-old girl in Florida.

The Huntsville Islamic Center is partnering with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers in a nationwide search to locate donors with an extremely rare blood type.

Transfusions can save two-year-old named Zainab. She will require blood as part of her treatment, and “it is important to have a match to prevent severe complications,” Eric Franchois said. He works as District Community Development Coordinator for LifeSouth.

“Zainab is missing an antigen called ‘Indian B,’ which most people carry on their red blood cells. While all are encouraged to donate, potential matches will most likely be of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent with a blood type of O or A,” Franchois said.

The blood drive will be held at Huntsville Islamic Center, 1645 Sparkman Road in Huntsville on Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Donors will need to let the LifeSouth staff know they are donating for Zainab,” Franchois said.

Individuals who cannot attend the blood drive can call 1-800-795-2707 to schedule an appointment to donate or visit lifesouth.org to find a blood drive or donor center.

“LifeSouth reminds the community that all blood types are needed every day, especially during the holidays when donations tend to decrease,” Franchois said. “Each donation can save three lives, and we rely solely on volunteers in order to maintain an adequate blood supply for the community.”

Donors must be at least 17 years old. However, 16-year-olds can donate if they have parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and are in good health. Donors must present a photo ID.

LifeSouth, a non-profit community blood bank, serves more than 100 hospitals in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. LifeSouth has more than 30 donor centers, 45 bloodmobiles and 2,000 blood drives monthly. For more information, visit LifeSouth.org.

LifeSouth’s Madison office address is 8190 Madison Blvd. To contact the Madison office, call Franchois at 256-533-8246 or email egfranchois@lifesouth.org.

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