Movie raises cash for fiance's leukemia treatment

Updated: 2011-12-08 07:59

By Tan Zongyang (China Daily)

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Movie raises cash for fiance's leukemia treatment

Ding Genxiu looks at her fiance Ke Peizong through the window of his isolation chamber in Fuzhou, Fujian province. Ke was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia in September. Lin Lianghua / for China Daily

FUZHOU - Cash donations have begun to flood in for a seriously ill man whose love story is the subject of a short film that has become an Internet sensation.

Ke Peizong, 26, was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia in September and is awaiting a bone marrow transplant at a hospital in Fujian province.

However, his family and friends say they have been shocked by the public response to a documentary about his relationship with his fiancee, 27-year-old Ding Genxiu.

"More and more people - far beyond expectations - have got to know our story through this film and have expressed their desire to help," said Ding, who estimated that the couple have received almost 160,000 yuan ($25,000) in donations in just a week.

"People have donated large and small amounts online to help us at this awful time," she said. "Now I know we are not alone in going through this."

Peizong and Genxiu, the four-minute film, has no dialogue. It simply follows the couple's everyday life.

Ding wakes up daily at 6 am to shop at a vegetable market to make breakfast for Ke, which she delivers to him on the 26th floor of the hospital in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province.

Ke, who works for an IT firm and has been with Ding for eight years, is recovering in an 8-square-meter isolation room after enduring three chemotherapy treatments in 100 days.

The couple is unable to touch each other due to Ke's high susceptibility to infection. They can only exchange looks through a thick glass window and talk over a fixed phone line.

"The basic idea of the film was to raise awareness of what leukemia sufferers go through," said Huang Zhongyi, Ke's colleague, who organized a group of volunteers to shoot the film. "We first wanted to touch potential (bone marrow) donors, but we've also succeeded in raising funds to help with the couple's medical expenses."

Ke and Ding are both from poor families, and the cost of the transplants and other treatments could run to about 800,000 yuan.

The China Marrow Donor Program has found two compatible donors for Ke, said Huang, although one has refused, while the other is hesitating.

Peizong and Genxiu was uploaded to Sina Weibo, the Chinese micro-blogging website, by a newspaper in Fuzhou on Nov 29. It has so far been forwarded more than 10,000 times.

Luo Xiaowei, 27, who lives in Beijing, is among the many people who have donated money to the couple directly through their online Alipay account.

"Donating online is easy, and at least I know who and what I'm helping with, compared with giving to official charitable agencies," he said.