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Help pours in after ill mom's urgent plea

By CHEN MENGWEI | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-05 07:00

The heart-wrenchcing case of cancer patient Liu Fulan and her two sons has taken a turn for the better after their story spread on the internet and kind-hearted people extended helping hands.

Life for Liu, 42, from Chaling county in Hunan province, has not been easy. Her husband died of liver cancer in 2008, leaving her with two sons and more than 100,000 yuan ($14,800) in debt. Her parents and parents-in-law are all gone.

Liu struggled to make ends meet, earning about 1,200 yuan a month, working three shifts a day, seven days a week in a restaurant, washing dishes and cleaning tables.

In August, Liu was also diagnosed with liver cancer. Medical bills were at least 4,000 yuan a month, a burden too heavy for Liu.

So, about two weeks ago, she left the hospital and, fearing there was not much time left for her, began to look for someone to take care of her two sons, ages 9 and 11.

"There is nothing I can do. I hope they will live a better life (after I die)," she told a local newspaper.

Zhou Shiwen, head of the Chaling Volunteers Association, a local nongovernmental organization, heard about Liu's wish and visited her. Saddened by her plight, Zhou spread her story on many WeChat social networking groups.

The local Zhuzhou Evening News, after hearing her story, gave Liu three days of coverage that attracted even wider public attention nationwide. Zhou said he has received up to 400 phone calls a day offering help.

Then Liu saw new hope.

The local government on Thursday morning sent her to Chaling People's Hospital for treatment, and it promised to pay "all medical expenses", government spokesman Ouyang Fan said on Thursday.

Liu, now too weak to take calls from the media, had said earlier: "I am confident I can fight the disease. I must be with my children as long as possible."

The government has also decided to waive her sons' tuition fees until they finish senior high school, Ouyang said.

As for the two boys' guardians, Zhou and local government officials have asked Liu's elder sister, who is 60, to take care of Liu's sons.

Liu's sister is now living with her husband and two sons at a government-sponsored low rent apartment. To make their life easier, the government has provided another apartment one floor above theirs for free.

Liao Mingding, head of the local Communist Youth League committee, promised to provide 6,000 yuan a year to support the two boys after Liu dies.

The local civil affairs bureau will also give the two boys a 1,200 yuan monthly stipend.

Zhou said the priority now is to find the best medical treatment for Liu to prolong her life.


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