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Web China: China's Little Match Girl

(Xinhua)

08:33, June 06, 2012

NANCHANG, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Reminiscent of the Danish story about the Little Match Girl who sold matches in the dead of winter, Chinese girl Wang Lin is also desperately selling matches trying to save her boyfriend.

However, unlike the poor little match girl who wandered the streets selling matches, 23-year-old Wang Lin sells virtual flaming matches over the internet.

Wang Lin and her boyfriend, Liu Hongyu, worked in the same company. They have been blissfully happy and in love for three years. But then tragedy struck when Liu was diagnosed with leukemia last October.

Since then, 24-year-old Liu has remained in hospital as he awaits a marrow transplant, which will cost he and his family at least 500,000 RMB.

Liu's family is unable to afford the huge operation fee. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, Liu's loyal girlfriend, Wang Lin, came up with the idea of selling virtual matches online in order to raise the money to pay for Liu's operation.

Wang Lin's virtual matches cost 6.66 RMB per unit, which is about 1 U.S. dollar each. In return, the couple sends good wishes to the buyers. So far for three months, she has sold 20,887 units. "I didn't expect to make so much money", she said, "this way simply the only way I could think of raising the money."

Wang commutes from her place of work to the hospital everyday to visit and take care of her boyfriend. To save money on rent, she has moved into his hospital room, and lives there with him.

Liu is grateful for his girlfriend's support. However, he feels guilty to have given her this extra pressure in life.

"I told her that I don't want to burden her," Liu explains, "but she insists on taking care of me. Sometimes she cries because she's under so much pressure, but when she comes to me, she is always smiling."

Liu's doctor, Wu Xiaojian, believes that Liu has a good chance of recovery if he can receive the operation soon. He said that the hospital is also planning to help him out.

In the old tale about the Little Match Girl, the girl strikes a match to warm herself on the freezing night. Wang Lin said that like the Little Match Girl, she also feels warmth and light, not from a match, but from every person who has donated money to help her boyfriend.

Having been confined to a hospital bed for the past few months, Liu Hongyu has had a lot of time to think. He says, "if I make a full recovery, I will marry her and make her happy everyday for the rest of our lives together. But if I don't recover", he added, "I'll just settle for watching her from heaven."

However, rather than dreaming about her future wedding, Liu is purely focused on the present. "I don't have time to think about the future" , she says. "I simply pray for him to be well again".

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