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Leukemia boy receives donations

By Wang Qingyun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-03-12 16:00

A 7-year-old leukemia patient has received several donations after a government leader appealed to local authorities for help in paying the boy's medical fees, which have exceeded what the insurance company is willing to cover.

A message posted on an online forum in Huizhou, Guangdong province, on March 8 asked the city's mayor to help relieve the financial burden of Wei Dongchen's family.

"My parents are migrant workers, we have a very low income. … Now it cost me several thousand yuan a day just lying in a hospital," said the message, written in the voice of the boy.

The mayor replied to the message on Sunday, donated 1,000 yuan ($161) to the family and asked local health and civil affairs authorities and the district to help the boy.

The district government then raised 100,000 yuan for Wei.

The family is seeking additional donations to cover the 300,000 yuan needed for a bone marrow transplant, said Wei Guowang, 32, the boy's father.

Feng Xiaoqin, a doctor at Nanfang Hospital, where the boy is being treated, said his son needs the marrow transplant to keep the disease from relapsing.

Wei's father came to Huizhou to work more than 10 years ago from Heyuan, another city in the province. He said his son has a residential permit in Heyuan, and is covered by his hometown's rural health insurance, which he finds "very helpful".

"From what I have learned, I can get at most 100,000 yuan for medical expenses incurred last year, and 150,000 yuan this year," he said.

"But we can get the refund only after the surgery is done, because we need to provide the receipts issued by the hospital to get it.

"By now we already spent almost 400,000 yuan on the treatment. We have borrowed more than 100,000 yuan from our relatives and friends, and are hardly able to borrow anymore from them."

Feng, the doctor, said the transplant is not urgent. "We need to be financially prepared before conducting the surgery, otherwise it will be postponed," she said.

According to Southern Metropolis Daily there are about 1.5 million migrant workers in Huizhou, accounting for 37 percent of its total population.

In October, the city began offering health insurance for kids of migrant workers, as long as they go to school in the city and one of their parents is paying a premium to the city's health insurance fund.

The program can reimburse at most 300,000 yuan for the kids' medical expenses.

Wei's father said they didn't take part in the program, but he appreciates the donations.

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