Liu Fa does not have a store, nor is he a genius in business, but he sold hundreds of goose products in a single day and had many volunteers delivering for him — all because kind-hearted Urumqi residents are helping him raise medical fees for his wife, who has leukemia.
Liu spent all his savings from when he worked as bus driver for tourists and borrowed more than 300,000 yuan ($48,000) from friends and relatives in 2011 when his wife, Wang Fang, was diagnosed with leukemia. She received a bone marrow transplant and needs drugs to ensure her liver and kidneys function normally, which costs at least 5,000 yuan every month in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
However, his wife has shown signs of deterioration since November, which may require a second transplant, adding more financial burden to the poor family.
"I cannot borrow more money from my friends, because they are not rich. It's not a good look to ask for a donation without trying my best to work," the 40-year-old man said, adding he seldom earns money as a tourist bus driver in winter, the off-season in Xinjiang.
With the help of friends, he partnered with a food company that provides him with the goose products he has sold in Urumqi since December. He can earn five to 10 yuan selling a smoked or dried goose, depending on the product.
But he sold a little in the first couple of days because he had no money to set up a store. He posted a small advertisement in his QQ chat room saying he needed to sell goose products to collect money for his wife.
His good reputation made his small ad spread unexpectedly, leading to about 200 products selling every day in the first week of February. Many members from the group came to help Liu deliver the orders when he was busy taking care of his wife and 9-year-old son.
"He did help other patients, and it's natural to help him when he is in need," said a 23-year-old volunteer.
She introduced him to the food company, and together with two other members came to help Liu whenever they were free.
"He refused our donation, saying it's not OK for a man who can work," said Liu Jinlong, a manager from a local insurance company. So he bought 100 goose products before Spring Festival as a way to help him.
Liu Fa admitted that it's hard for him to support his wife. If he sold 1,600 products, he may earn at most 8,500 yuan, far from enough to cover the transplant operation.
Liu Jinlong, the insurance company manager, advised him to have a large part of the expense reimbursed by the State medical system instead of relying on a single person.
Mao Yuqin, another member from his discussion group, said several members suggested he open a restaurant. "If he agrees, we'll help him open it as shareholders," she said.
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