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Web China: Sick girl saved through online charity campaign

(Xinhua)

14:22, February 16, 2012

GUANGZHOU, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Liu Renneng can finally sleep soundly, as he has raised enough money for his little girl's bone marrow transplant operation, by providing free haircuts in return for donations.

The professional hairdresser's 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia in October 2011. He felt the sky was falling in when he learned he would have to pay more than 600,000 yuan (95,280 U.S. dollars), far more than he could afford, to save her life.

But instead of asking for help from local government and charity groups for nothing, he insisted on giving haircuts to people who want to help.

"Although in difficulty, I still want to maintain my dignity. This is my way of expressing gratitude," said Ren, who lives in Guangzhou, capital city of southern Guangdong province.

His story was posted on Weibo.com, China's leading Twitter-like microblogging website, and has been forwarded by thousands of deeply moved netizens.

"He who strives to save himself deserves public help. I admire Liu because he makes use of his professional skills to raise money," said a netizen named "Jiangnan Alan."

On Feb. 12, the Micro Foundation charity initiated an online fund-raising initiative, calling upon people to buy cards that sell at 20 yuan each. Buyers can get a haircut from Liu by buying two of the items.

The famous Chinese actress and microblogger Yao Chen supported the event immediately by buying 500 cards, inspiring many of her fans to do the same. A total of 15,000 had been sold by the end of Tuesday, raising 300,000 yuan.

The fund-raising campaign continued offline, with beauty salons across Guangzhou promising to make donations from what they earn through haircuts.

Referring to the recent furore over a video posted online of a toddler being struck by two different vans and left bleeding on the road as bystanders did nothing to help, Guangzhou resident Meng Lie said people need to be cheered up by warm deeds like this one.

Like many parents, Meng took his child with him to make the donation. "I want her to know the importance of social responsibility, and teach her to care for others," he said.

Organizers of the fund-raising campaign believe most people in society are benevolent. "That's why so many were ready to help when they learned about Liu's predicament," said Liang Shuxin, executive chairman of Micro Foundation.

However, he also warned that a one-off fund-raising scheme can only help one ill child at a time. To make medical treatment affordable for all, China needs government and non-governmental organizations to make joint efforts, said Liang.

Liu has received more than 920,000 yuan so far. He plans to use the money left over after his daughter's operation to set up a foundation to help other children with leukaemia.

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Canada at 2012-02-1770.36.49.*
Canada has universal and free health care, that is medically necessary, for all citizens, although those with an income above the poverty level pay monthly premiums, and in China, income taxes could also be raised to provide coverage. My husband had an autologous bone marrow transplant in 2006 for a very rare cancer & the prognosis is he should live many years. He would be dead by now if we lived in the U.S. where private for-profit health care exists, as insurance companies would have denied coverage claiming a transplant was experimental. Even if an insurance company had agreed to the treatment we could not have afforded the co-payment. It is so good to see this child will receive the necessary treatment. Hopefully the Chinese people will support the government in raises taxes or paying premiums so health care can be provided for everyone.
  

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