Liu Yuehu is a former construction worker who now spends his days wearing a Pikachu costume at the subway station in Chengdu.
Last January, he and his wife were devastated after their daughter Yu Yan was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia by a hospital in Chengdu.
According to the doctors, the girl, who is a little over a year old, has a 70% chance of surviving the disease. The couple was told, however, that the girl’s treatment could cost the family “hundreds of thousands of yuan”, Shanghaiist reports.
Not willing to give up on her young child, the 24-year-old dad quit his job as a construction worker because his firm would pay him only by the end of the year and he needed money right away.
With hospital bills costing 3,000 yuan ($435) each day, he knew he must find a better means to earn money. So far, the family has already spent over 160,000 yuan on medicines and treatment procedures. When Liu ordered his Pikachu costume online, the company decided to give it to him for free after learning about what he intended to do with it.
For more than a week now, Liu has been wearing his Pikachu suit at a busy subway station in Chengdu, while his wife stays at the hospital to look after Yu Yan. Carrying his daughter’s medical papers as proof, Liu held a sign announcing that he is selling photos with Pikachu to raise money for his sick baby daughter.
People who took photos with him were encouraged to donate any amount they wanted. There were also times he would let little children take pictures with him for free.
Liu has so far raised 13,000 yuan ($1,887) from Chengdu commuters. To save more, he spends less by eating only a small piece of bread and a bottled water for lunch. He understands that he needs to earn a whole lot more for his daughter.
In related stores, last week, a 70-year-old grandma from the Chinese province of Dezhou went viral on social media for wearing a Minnie Mouse costume
to similarly raise money for her daughter-in-law’s medical bills.