A 14-year-old terminally ill Chinese girl has begged her parents to give up on her after they used up all their savings for her cancer treatment.
Li Xiaoqing, who was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer called hepatoblastoma in 2014, reportedly told parents: “Please give me up. I don’t want to be your burden.” As Xiaoqing’s condition worsened as her cancer reached its late stages, her parents reportedly racked up a significant amount of debt to support her medical bills, reports sohu (via MailOnline).
The heartbreaking moment, which left the parents in tears, was captured by members of the Chinese media on November 21.
Originally from Henan Province, Xiaoqing grew up on the farm with her older brother, younger sister, parents and her grandmother. Her family was forced to bring her to Beijing after local doctors in the province advised them that she’ll get better treatment from hospitals in the capital city, which is 510 kilometers (316 miles) away.
In the Beijing Children’s Hospital, Xiaoqing’s doctors recommended that she immediately undergo chemotherapy due to the size of her tumor. An operation would be advisable after the tumor has been reduced. However, due to budget constraints, the couple opted to get the procedure from People’s Hospital in Puyang instead of Beijing which would be the more costly.
Xiaoqing had to skip school as she underwent five rounds of chemotherapy in the next few months. When her condition got worse, her parents brought her back to Beijing to seek a more advanced treatment. They had to leave the rest of their family in their hometown to pursue Xiaoqing’s treatment.
Xiaoqing’s father, Xiangping, makes both ends meet as a farmer and part-time welder. He had to take extra odd jobs to afford the costly treatments. He also reportedly saved money by sleeping in the woods or in underground tunnels for about a month during his daughter’s treatment. His blanket and luggage even got stolen one night as he slept outdoors.
The incident forced the couple to rent a small room on the city’s outskirts, which is about two hours away from the hospital. To save money, Xiaoqing only stayed in the hospital when receiving treatment.
Between November 2015 and November 2017, Xiaoqing had reportedly undergone 20 rounds of chemotherapy, costing the family around $44,500 in total. Xiaoqing then discovered on November 21 that her condition was not improving, but she is still set to undergo chemotherapy again. With no more money to afford her treatment, her parents could only weep about their situation.
“Dad, I don’t want more chemotherapy,” Xiaoqing was quoted as telling her father. “Our family don’t have money anymore. When could you pay back all the debts? Please give me up. I don’t want to be your burden. Without me, you still have my brother and sister.”
However, Xiaoqing’s parents have told local media that they are willing to continue their daughter’s chemotherapy despite their difficulty. After being covered by local media, her story touched the hearts of many Chinese. Concerned volunteers from Tencent Charity even created a donation page with a target of 500,000 yuan ($75,500) to cover her medical bills. As of this writing, 68,474 yuan ($10,350) has been donated.
Feature image via sohu.com