Girl with leukemia dies af­ter fundrais­ing ef­fort

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By XIN­HUA in Shen­zhen

A 5-year-old girl with leukemia has died one month af­ter her fa­ther’s fundrais­ing blog re­ceived wide at­ten­tion from Chi­nese ne­ti­zens.

The girl, nick­named Xiao Xiao, died at Shen­zhen Uni­ver­sity Health Sci­ence Cen­ter at 6 am on Satur­day. Her par­ents do­nated her body to the cen­ter for clin­i­cal re­search.

Gao Min of the Shen­zhen Red Cross So­ci­ety told Xin­hua News Agency that Xiao Xiao’s par­ents had bought her some new clothes and planned to dress her up as Santa Claus to cel­e­brate Christ­mas.

The fa­ther, Luo Er, first wrote about the in­fant on Nov 25. She was di­ag­nosed with a low blood platelet count in Septem­ber and hos­pi­tal­ized soon af­ter.

To raise money for her treat­ment, Luo be­gan writ­ing about his daugh­ter and her ill­ness on WeChat. His jour­nals were not widely read un­til Xiao­ton­gren, a Shen­zhen-based fi­nance com­pany, said it would do­nate 1 yuan ($0.15) for each re­post­ing of the ar­ti­cle. The fa­ther’s ar­ti­cle en­ti­tled “Luo Yix­iao, Stop” went vi­ral.

Luo de­scribed how he was sign­ing up for the Red Cross An­gel Plan. “I do not want to take ad­van­tage of the gov­ern­ment,” he wrote. “I want to tell my daugh­ter that I am do­ing all I can, but she must wait for me.”

“Luo Yix­iao, don’t run away,” he wrote. “You must be a good girl and come home with me.”

He gen­tly chided her: “If you run away to heaven, even if you are an an­gel, one day when we meet there, I will not talk to you.”

As of Nov 30, the ar­ti­cle had been read and liked by more than 100,000 peo­ple on WeChat, rais­ing more than 2 mil­lion yuan from Xiao­ton­gren and from read­ers.

As Luo’s journal grew in pop­u­lar­ity, peo­ple be­came in­ter­ested in his pri­vate life. It was soon dis­closed that he owns three apart­ments, im­ply­ing that he per­haps had the means to fund his daugh­ter’s treat­ment with­out re­quir­ing do­na­tions from the pub­lic. Sud­denly, far from draw­ing the sym­pa­thy of mil­lions, Lou was de­nounced as a cheat who had taken ad­van­tage of peo­ple’s kind­ness.

Luo made no se­cret of hav­ing three apart­ments, but said he was plan­ning to use the money raised to set up a foun­da­tion for chil­dren liv­ing with leukemia.

Luo said he was in mourn­ing when con­tacted by Xin­hua by tele­phone on Satur­day. He added that he hadn’t ex­pected his daugh­ter to pass away so quickly and ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to ev­ery­one who tried to help.

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SUN YAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Cold fish

Fish­er­men dis­play their catch on frozen Changling Lake in Harbin, Hei­longjiang prov­ince, on Sun­day to mark the start of a two-month­long ice-fish­ing fes­ti­val.

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