Donor in­spires with free blood sac­ri­fice

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By XIE CHUANJIAO in Qing­dao, Shan­dong xiechuan­jiao@ chi­

At the end of last month, Craig Allen Ruh­stor­fer of­fered an­other 400 milliliters of blood, un­paid, to a do­na­tion ser­vice sta­tion in Pingdu, a county-level city in Shan­dong prov­ince.

The 59-year-old teacher and donor, born in the United States, is also known by his Chi­nese name Liu Tianxin, and has be­come a fa­mil­iar face to the staff at the blood do­na­tion sta­tion.

“He has been of­fer­ing blood do­na­tions at our sta­tion since 2007 and he has been awarded three blood do­na­tion cer­tifi­cates,” said Dong Yong­guang, a staff mem­ber at the Pingdu do­na­tion sta­tion.

Ruh­stor­fer has been do­nat­ing blood, twice a year, since 2003 when he worked as an English teacher in the eastern coastal city of Qing­dao. To date, he has do­nated 28 times or 11,200 ml of blood.

Not only is he an un­paid donor, but Ruh­stor­fer also pro­vides fund­ing for 22 Chi­nese chil­dren. This started af­ter he met a child in 2003 whose fam­ily was in dif­fi­cul­ties. He gave money for the child to go to school, and his good deed led to more con­tri­bu­tions to help other chil­dren.

The el­dest of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries is now 25 and he in­vited Ruh­stor­fer to his wed­ding as a fam­ily mem­ber.

The youngest one is 9 and still in ele­men­tary school in He­nan prov­ince.

“One of my ‘daugh­ters’ has en­tered her ju­nior year and one of my ‘sons’ has been ad­mit­ted to the well-known Pingdu No 1 Se­nior High School this year,” said Ruh­stor­fer cheer­fully.

“And I hope all my chil­dren can at­tend uni­ver­si­ties and live happy lives.”

He worked as a nurse in Michi­gan be­fore com­ing to China to be­come a teacher.

Com­fort­ably flu­ent in Chi­nese, he has no bar­ri­ers in daily com­mu­ni­ca­tion. He teaches at Shangqiu Nor­mal Univer­sity, based in He­nan prov­ince, and of­ten takes the train to visit his stu­dents in Qing­dao dur­ing the va­ca­tion, do­nat­ing blood at the same time. Of­ten, he also takes stu­dents to do­nate.

Ruh­stor­fer earns about 7,000 yuan ($1,035) every month, not enough to cover the school fees for his chil­dren. “I de­cide to spon­sor their tu­ition or room and board ac­cord­ing to the in­come of their fam­i­lies,” Ruh­stor­fer said.

“Ruh­stor­fer of­ten takes his chil­dren to our ser­vice sta­tion so he can buy them gifts af­ter do­na­tions,” said Jiao Haiyan, a staff mem­ber at the Pingdu sta­tion. He lives fru­gally. “I don’t smoke or drink, or eat at ex­pen­sive restau­rants. I take the slow train be­cause the tick­ets are cheaper. And this shirt I have worn for years and I will be wear­ing it as long as pos­si­ble.”

He re­ceived Golden Awards for blood do­na­tion in 2014 and 2015.

“As a for­eigner who can in­sist on do­nat­ing blood with­out pay­ment, Ruh­stor­fer fully re­flects a love with­out bor­ders and is re­ally ad­mirable,” Dong Yong­guang said.

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