Chaobin Zou is a rising star of the 10th grade at a local high school in deep mountains located between China and Myanmar. The town is called Chuxiong and it is a rural area that suffers poverty and destitution. Many residents and minority aboriginals are absolutely poor, living on less than US$1 a day. Chaobin is from such a family. Chaobin has a younger sister and not long ago, they attended the same local school. However, because of being so poor, their parents were not able to support both of them attending high-school and the family had to come down to a choice of either son or daughter staying at the high school, but not both. The heart-breaking decision was Chaobin to continue to stay, and his sister to drop out of high school as a sacrifice of family poverty. Misery loves company. Months ago, Choabin was diagnosed as having contracted myelogenous leukemia and the double whammy started to torture this family and tear it apart. Chaobin’s parents have used every bit of their meager resources to maintain Chaobin’s life at the local hospital. Chaobin’s life is in danger and his only hope is a bone marrow transplant. The good news is that doctors have found Chaobin’s sister will provide a good match for the bone marrow transplant, but the bad news is that the cost of this medical procedure is astronautically high. Nothing more can be collected from this already barren family. Ironically speaking, while the Chinese economy is advancing rapidly and many are becoming rich in this country, the government-provided insurance for the needy families is so backward and Chaobin’s family literally gets no help with their family tragedy from the government (there is no such a thing called Medicaid in China). While being so sick, Chaobin conscientiously knows the money issue his parents are facing and as the only help he could ever offer to his parents, he has begged his parents to let himself terminate his young life so that his parents may suffer less and his sister may face less hardship in the future. This does not mean at all that Chaobin dones not love his life, rather, as the only way he could help his parents, he indicates he is willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of his love for his parents and his sister. Chaobin is now only 16 years old. Yet, his parents won’t let him go. The students and teachers at his local high school won’t let him go. They love Chaobin and everyone of them is extending his or her hand to hold Chaobin’s hand of life and not letting it go. They have donated one dollar, fifty, 100, or whatever amount then can, to contribute to the money needed for Chaobin’s bone marrow transplant. Love from his student friends and teachers has also encouraged Chaobin to fight this malign disease and he said: “no matter what it takes, I will live and fight, for as long as I can, with my strong will and in an appreciation of all your love and support for me.” However, the total cost for the bone marrow transplant is CH$300,000+(roughly an equivalent of US$50,000). China’s average personal income is less than Ch$20,000/year (roughly an equivalent of US$3,000), and the annual income of Chaobin’s parents is way lower than that. Besides what the students and teachers have done at Chaobin’s high school, donations and contributions from elsewhere are obviously much needed in order to meet this CH$300,000+ required amount. I just came back from a visit as a tourist to Chuxiong and happened to get acquaintance with the people in this true story of fighting for life. I am deeply moved by the spirits of life and love Chaobin and the fellow students and teachers uphold. I am calling upon my church friends and all other friends for help. Romain Rolland once said: “Love is the flame of life. All is dark without it”. Let us, too, all extend our hands to help this young man and save his life he well deserves, by making our generous donation.
《Holding His Hand, the Hand of Life…》