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08:08, March 19, 2010      

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Students from Guizhou College of Finance and Economics sell newspaper to raise money for classmate Chen Guiyong's surgery on Sunday. Photo: Courtesy of Sun Yuantao

Thursday, students from Guizhou College of Finance and Economics (GCFE) reported that through donations and their hard work, they had collected over 18,000 yuan to help save the life of their ailing classmate, Chen Guiyong. And it all started with selling newspapers.

The group of caring students from the GCFE Economics Department collected in the People's Square in Guiyang, Guizhou Province last Sunday morning, and with every sale, they came one step closer to the kidney transplant that can save the life of their classmate Chen.

"We hoped to collect enough to help Guiyong, and at the same time encourage even more people to help him," said Chen Mei, a leader in Guiyong's class and organizer of the activity.

Suddenly finding himself feeling extremely weak, Chen, a 22-year-old logistics sophomore at GCFE, was rushed to a Kaili, Guizhou hospital on February 16, where he was diagnosed with late-stage uremia, a kidney disease caused by retention of toxins normally expelled in urine.

"Doctors said he has to have a kidney transplant. Even though there are donors, the operation costs at least 20,000 yuan ($2,930), an astronomical figure for our family," said Chen's 50-year-old mother Zhu Zhiying, adding her son undergoes blood dialysis three times a week, costing an additional 3,000 yuan.

Chen's parents, laid-off factory workers from Leishan county, Guizhou, make a meager living by selling dried foods at a local vegetable market. Their montly income is less than 1,000 yuan, according to Zhu.

After learning the news, Chen's schoolmates and teachers donated around 15,000 yuan, but it was still far from enough.

Chen Mei then took the initiative to earn even more money by organizing classmates and volunteers from other major local universities to meet early Sunday morning at Guiyang's People's Square to hold a "charity newspaper sale."
With 1,000 copies of the Guizhou Metropolitan Daily and Guizhou Evening News they bought for 0.35 yuan each, the group took to the square shouting "save my classmates' life and offer your love."

By the end of the day, the students sold out every copy.

"At the very beginning, no one trusted us. But after we showed all our IDs, student identity cards and library cards, people began supporting us," Chen Mei explained, "Two random people even joined us and sold newspaper for two hours."

Selling for 0.50 yuan each (the cover price), many people bought the papers without asking for change. A woman who identified herself only as Wang, bought a newspaper for 500 yuan, the highest donation made.

By the afternoon, the students had collected over 1,500 yuan.

"Chen Guiyong is very caring, optimistic and always ready to help others. We don't want to lose such a good classmate. We'll try our best to save his life, " she said.
After learning about what his classmates were doing for him, Chen Guiyong was deeply touched and was immediately in better spirits.

"I really hope to get better quickly so I can go back to school and be with my classmates again," he said.

In order to keep up with his studies, he asked his mother to bring his textbooks from his dorm and studies in bed every day.

"We all know his wish, and we believe in miracles," said Li Jingtao, classmate and participant.

If you would like to make a donation to Chen Guiyong, please contact his mother Zhu Zhiying at 085 58911679.

Source: Global Times
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