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China Daily Website

Account of leukemia battle brings overnight fame

Updated: 2012-05-28 21:44
By Cheng Yingqi (

Lu Chao, a 23-year-old woman with leukemia fighting for life, did not expect that some posts she wrote on her Sina Weibo account would bring her overnight fame.

Lu, who has been in a coma most of the time recently at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, would have refrained from drawing attention to herself because "the last thing she wants is to disturb her parents more", said her father, who requested to remain anonymous.

"She kept apologizing for the media attention that her posts have brought us," her father said on May 25, after the hospital was forced to organize a media briefing to address dozens of reporters swarming there.

On May 20, Lu wrote around 60 posts on her Sina Weibo, describing the painful chemotherapy treatment she was receiving with some light and humorous touches. She included in each post a picture of herself in stylish clothes and makeup. Her posts were forwarded more than 200,000 times thanks to a recommendation from Zuoyeben, an opinion leader on Sina Weibo.

On May 21, Lu deleted all of the photos and messages on her weibo, except for one sentence: "Thanks everyone for your care, I can sense your love. But this has disturbed my life, so I decided to leave myself in peace."

Born and raised in Qingdao, Shandong province, Lu worked in Beijing before she was diagnosed with leukemia in January.

Her parents say she has suffered from poor health since childhood. Due to a severe disease, Lu missed her high school entrance exam when she was 16.

She later entered a junior college and ran a cloth store for a year before coming to Beijing to work.

In late 2011, Lu had a severe toothache but did not pay much attention to the pain. In January, she was diagnosed with leukemia at a hospital in Qingdao.

Her family brought her to Beijing for treatment. To make Lu happier during the chemotherapy, her parents bought her a small laptop.

Doctors found matching stem cells in her brother, but after three months of chemotherapy Lu declined further treatment.

"We knew she didn't want to become a greater financial burden to the family and others," said Lu's uncle.