A photo of a teenage girl from Yunnan Province holding a sign that read she was selling her virginity to save her sick brother has been making the rounds on Chinese social media.
“Selling my virginity for 200,000 yuan (about $29,000) to save my sick brother,” the sign read. The girl, identified by her surname Xu, also said she had a hospital certificate proving that she was still a virgin, according to Shanghaiist.
The young girl was willing to be deflowered for her 23-year-old brother who has been suffering from leukemia for three years.
While it was found that Xu’s bone marrow was a match with her brother’s, he had a negative reaction to the bone marrow transplant. Xu then decided to sell her body in order to raise enough funds for her family’s medical debt, which had reached 100,000 Yuan (over $14,000), and for future treatments for her brother.
A local woman was concerned for the girl and reportedly offered to give her 50,000 Yuan (about $7,300) if she would stop prostituting herself, but she turned the payment down.
Xu was also dubbed “pepper girl” after she made headlines for selling red peppers to save her brother, according to What’s on Weibo.
The girl was taken to the police station after commuters on the Hangzhou Metro noticed her.
It was confirmed that Xu’s brother was being treated at a local hospital where he looked emaciated and covered in black spots as result of his body breaking down. A doctor had confirmed that his fingernails were falling off and he had contracted a number of other diseases.
“I can’t put the cost for this treatment on my medical insurance, I guess she heard that and came to Hangzhou,” he told reporters. “And now I know how foolish she is.”
The brother, who also has two other younger sisters, felt like he was putting a heavy burden on his family, but he is looking forward to going home so Xu can return to her studies.
The problem is that no matter how good her intentions, officers said selling her body was the wrong decision. Xu knows this, but she did not know what else she could do to help her family out.
Users of the Chinese social media site Weibo felt the same way officers did about Xu’s actions.
“This is just to create a hype and it makes me nauseous,” one user said. “They could’ve done a fundraising for her brother instead. Where’s your self-respect?”
“Nowadays so many people make a hype to win sympathy. Is her virginity really worth 200,000 RMB?” another user said.
However, other users have shown support on Xu’s own Weibo account, with one commenting, “Hang on, girl, wishing you all the best.”
More recently, another woman, 19, from Guangdong Province went viral for trying to sell her virginity for 350,000 Yuan ($51,000) to raise money for her cancer-stricken mother. Fortunately, a seemingly-benevolent man gave her the funds necessary for her mother’s treatment.