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Selfless mission

By Wu Ni | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-08 10:36

Selfless mission

Xie Yingfeng, who belongs to the rare AB-negative blood type, has donated blood many times to save those in critical need. Provided to China Daily

A salesman has led a group of volunteers with a rare blood type to be standby donors whenever needs arise. Xie Yingfeng shares his motivation with Wu Ni in Shanghai.

Xie Yingfeng does not remember how many times he has donated blood - a rare Rh negative AB type - to patients on the verge of death. Xie, a 34-year-old salesman in Shanghai, is also managing three online QQ groups with more than 200 rare blood type volunteers who are on standby to lend a hand when needed. Rh negative blood is called the "Panda Blood" in China because of its rarity. Medical research shows only three out of every 1,000 Chinese people are born with Rh negative blood.

Xie learned of his blood type in a blood test for his pre-marital medical checkup in 2005 at his hometown in Fukang, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Soon after, he made his first donation, heeding the call of a local newspaper for Rh negative blood citizens to help a pregnant woman in critical condition while delivering a baby.

"It was really a lucky coincidence," he recalls. "I was the only one qualified for donating blood among a dozen of volunteers."

He admitted that in his first attempt, he was "scared to see the large needle piercing through the skin" but was filled with joy later when the grateful parents showed him their healthy baby.

Hoping to help more needy people, Xie joined the China Rh Union, a Beijing-based nonprofit organization with nearly 20,000 voluntary blood donors.

As an active member, Xie took over as the regional coordinator of the union after he moved to Shanghai in 2007. The group now has more than 200 members from Shanghai and other cities in Yangtze River Delta region.

Xie's role is to collect information on patients who needed rare blood, and call the hospital to verify the information.

"We will also call the patient's family members and tell them that we donate our blood for free and they don't need to pay the blood dealers, as some illnesses have reduced many families to poverty," he says.

China's Blood Donation Law banned the trading of blood but illegal blood collection and supply agencies still exist. In black market, 100 milliliters of rare blood can be sold for as high as 10,000 yuan ($1,600), Xie says.

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