A young mother has been seen on multiple occasions selling hugs at a busy Chongqing subway station in an attempt to raise money for her daughter, who was diagnosed with leukemia.
Chen Dejuan, 28, was spotted at the station on Friday and Saturday holding a cardboard sign reading: “Selling Hugs -10 yuan each”. Alongside her was her four-year-old daughter, called Nana, who wore a respirator and was nearly bald.
Chen said she is originally from Guangdong, while her husband is a native Chongqing resident, according to China.com. They both work in Shandong, and found out about Nana’s illness in May, when she fell down and was sent to the doctor for a body examination.
Nana received treatment in four different hospitals in Shandong, but Chen and her husband decided to send her to Chongqing. They’ve spent around 70,000 yuan in savings and borrowed money to pay for the girl’s medical treatment over the past few months.
Chen acquired about 600 yuan in donations within an hour. Some offered her cash and others transferred money electronically after reading her story online.
Chen indicated that the move was her last resort, as she and her husband have become desperate.
“It requires great courage to do such thing,” she said.
A Chongqing nurse confirmed Nana’s condition and said she’d been through treatment at the hospital.
Dozens of low-income parents have made headlines in recent months after resorting to degrading stunts in a bid to raise money for their sick children. In April, 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, as many struggle to bear the costs of medical treatment.
By Maggie Wong