A Shanxi man has been dressing up as a woman as he desperately appeals for charity to help fund his sick son’s medical treatment. Photos published by Tencent show the lengths this man has taken to attract attention to his cause.
The man’s nine-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013. Chemotherapy proved ineffective and the boy underwent surgery in February to transplant bone marrow supplied by his parents. While the operation was successful, he still requires treatment to prevent his body from rejecting the transplant.
As the medical costs of the treatment accumulated, the boy’s unemployed parents had no choice but to seek charity to pay off their debt, which has risen to nearly 600,000 RMB (US$97,000). While the mother cares for the boy at the hospital in Beijing, the father returned to Shanxi to beg on the streets.
Dressed in female clothing, a wig and make-up, he carries a placard beseeching passers-by to take notice of his son’s plight. The sign urges good-hearted people to save his son by taking photos and spreading the word.
This is not the first time a father has resorted to some degrading stunt to raise money for his sick child in China. Just last week, an Anhui beggar was found to be dressing as a horse and offering rides for $1 to support his leukemia-stricken son. These stories highlight the shortcomings of China’s recent health reforms, with many still struggling to bear the costs of medical treatment.
By Liam Bourke