CHINA> Regional
Charity brings leukaemia children's wishes to life
Updated: 2009-06-01 14:19

BEIJING -- When Jia Xin held the violin donated by a benevolent stranger, she was so excited she couldn't get her fingers to play properly.

The eight-year-old girl, who comes from northeastern China's Jilin Province, is now receiving leukaemia treatment in the Beijing Children's Hospital.

The violin was donated by 48-year-old Wang Yi, a fund manager who was attracted by a charity campaign launched by the Chinese Marrow Donor Program (CMDP) and The Beijing News on May 25 for the annual International Children's Day, which falls on June 1.

Organizers of the campaign managed to collect around 160 wishes from leukaemia children who are being treated in 11 hospitals in Beijing, including the Beijing Children's Hospital and the Naval General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army.

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The wishes were almost all very simple, such as a book, a toy car, a game player, a skateboard, or going to the zoo or a park. Only a few of the children took it to a more costly level, such as a violin.

Wang told Xinhua that he went to buy the violin after he saw the campaign advertisement, which cost him about 1,000 yuan.

"For me, this is only a modest amount of money," he said, "but for the girl, the gift means a lot."

Wang said that he wanted to see the girl cheered by playing the violin, and he hoped this would make her treatment easier to accept.

The little girl, who fell in love with the violin in her hometown, said "Thank you" to Wang again and again.

After buying the violin, Wang said he would take care of the living costs of Jia Xin's parents in Beijing.

The organizers said Sunday that they had received 193 donated gifts by the end of Saturday, six days after the campaign was launched. The gifts had all been given to the children by Monday.

Besides gifts, CMDP's bank account received 134 donations in cash, totaling 58,825 yuan (about 8,610 US dollars), which would be used to buy more gifts.

The donors include company managers, migrant workers - who are not rich themselves, people who have recovered from leukaemia, and organizations such as the Red Cross Society of China and the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

CMDP director Hong Junling told Xinhua that the aim of this campaign was to give more care to the children, as they are a vulnerable group, and  Children's Day provides an excellent opportunity to do so.

"We hope to cheer them up as much as possible," Hong said, "and gain more attention and care from the public."

According to CMDP statistics, there are now several million leukaemia patients in China and around one million of them are waiting for marrow transplants.

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