A 5-year-old boy from Changchun is helping to pay his own medical bill to treat his life-threatening kidney disease through live streaming.
The boy, known by the nickname Xiaoshi (or “Little Rock”), was first diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome
, a collection of symptoms sourcing from kidney damage including blood clots, infections, and high blood pressure, when he was only 14 months old.
After the diagnosis, Xiaoshi’s parents poured everything they had in order to save their child’s life. They have spent more than 300,000 yuan, ($43,000) even selling their own house just to make ends meet, according to NetEase via Shanghaiist
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This led his parents to open up a live streaming account for the child, using the money they earn to pay for his monthly medicine that costs around 7,000 yuan ($1,000).
His uncanny resemblance to Buddha (or specifically Budai
), which was caused by his condition that resulted in ballooning to nearly 35 kilograms (77 pounds), helped augment the child’s popularity among audiences.
“Since there are a lot of uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters who care about me, I can earn money to pay for my medical fees. I want to make money for myself to take the burden away from my parents. I believe that I can get better,” Xiaoshi said.
Xiaoshi hasn’t been able to attend school because of his medical condition, and the live streaming platform has become his only way of making new friends. On average, he receives around 1 million viewers during his live-streaming session.
Xiaoshi’s parents are worried about how this new fame might affect his upbringing; still, seeing the child’s newfound happiness has allowed them to take more ease in their decision.