Home / Fusion

Love for ailing Uygur student helps raise 250,000 yuan for treatment

By Lu Hongyan and Ma Lie in Xi'an (

Updated: 2015-07-17 17:16:21

An outpouring of love and donations helped a Uygur student at Xi'an Jiaotong University in Xi'an pay for surgery necessary to treat a brain auditory nerve sheath tumor.

Donors pledged more than 250,000 yuan ($40,745) to pay for treatment for Gulbakram Yalkun, 22, who is from from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Yalkun, 22, fell ill on April 22 when she suddenly fainted and fell unconscious. She was sent to a hospital by her teachers and classmates.

"For days before I fainted I felt uncomfortable, with facial twitching, hearing and vision loss and dizziness, but I did not know why and continued my classes," Yalkun recalled.

She was diagnosed with a tumor about 5 cm in size, which would cause symptoms of paralysis and hemidysesthesia, dysphonia, a disorder of the voice, or secondary optic atrophy affecting the eyes.

"The surgery is highly risky and the facial paralysis incidence rate will be as high as 90 percent," doctors told Yalkun and her parents.

As a medical student at the university, Yalkun knew her illness was serious and that the high cost of the surgery would be a very heavy burden to her family.

Yalkun's father earns a meager salary working in a small county and her mother, who doesn't work, needs long term treatment for an injury after a traffic accident. And Yalkun did not buy student medical insurance in 2015, which meant that she had to pay all the cost of treatment on her own.

Yalkun's illness and her poor family conditions received much attention from her teachers and classmates, who decided to launch an on campus fundraiser for Yalkun.

"Your child Yalkun is also our child, and we will try our best to help Yalkun overcome the disease," Gong Hui, deputy Party secretary of the university, told Yalkun's parents.

\Her classmate, Xiao Jing, said she would make her own effort to help because Yalkun was like a sister to the class.

With Yalkun and her parents' agreement , the school posted Yalkun's condition online for the fundraiser; 253,000 yuan ($40,745) was donated by more than 1,300 people within a month.

The hospital in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, that treated Yalkun also donated money and discounted the medical treatment fee.

The Xi'an office of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region government donated 50,000 yuan to Yalkun after they learned of her disease.

Yalkun is recovering after the tumor was removed in a successful in June operation.

"My daughter is lucky as she studies in the best school and received an operation by the best doctors in the best hospital. My family and I feel so grateful to the university, the teachers, the students and people in society," Yalkun's father said.

After the treatment, 53,000 yuan in donations was left over. Yalkun talked to her father about what to do and decided to return the money to the school.

"I hope that the money can help other students who come from a poor family and suffer from diseases. Although the money is little, I hope that great love can be handed down," Yalkun said.