By Maurits Elen
A popular American English teacher has been helped out with her medical bills by her students and former colleauges at Xiamen University, after she made notice her struggle with Parkinson was financially and mentally engraving on her too heavily.
The teacher, Janice Engsberg, wrote an email to the university stating that her condition was waning after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001:
“Even after years of striving, my medical condition remains a challenge in what’s a real fight for my life … My dilemma is compounded since I can no longer afford critically needed therapeutic health care.”
But it’s not just a normal request for a favor. Janice is a beloved and respected teacher around the university. Immediately after her email, students gathered and launched a ”We Love Jan” campaign, which has fundraised 80,000 yuan (12,700 US dollars) since its inception on December 29th.
Even the university has reached out a helping hand by giving Janice a monthly subsidy worth 5,000 yuan:
“Janice is an optimistic person, and she would not ask us for help if she could manage.”
In 1986 Janice came to China to teach after graduating with a doctorate in sociology from New York State University. Twenty years later she returned back to the US, but her efforts for charity and the well being of students left behind a strong and warm impression.
Janice helped out poor students in the past by using her savings to donate books. She has set up her own so-called Ying Jian Scholarship – a reference to her Chinese name – thereby showing the well deserved aid now being offered to her. What goes around comes around. We wish Janice the best for her struggle with Parkinson!