Chinese Cancer Patient Makes 1,000 Dolls to Raise Money For Hospital Bill

 

Medical bills these days can go through the roof — especially for local Chinese citizens who do not necessarily have the funds to pay for insurance.

When 26-year-old Zhou Jie was diagnosed with colon cancer, she turned to her family members, who emptied out all their savings in order to help relieve some of the costs. The treatment however, came at too high a price. Even with the aid of her family, she could not meet what the bills demanded.

It’s easy to throw your hands up and surrender when facing debt, and even more so with death — but the Suzhou native didn’t give up. Instead, she made 1,000 dolls and sold them online to raise money, to cover the costs of her illness.

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In no time at all, her story went viral, and Chinese citizens began reaching out to her with words of encouragement — along with their purchases of the dolls. The dolls were priced between 38 – 98 rmb (roughly $6 – $16 USD).

On June 30th, Zhou Jie, dubbed the “doll girl,” passed away peacefully. Her family had told China Times that she had no regrets, knowing that she had the support and love of her family, friends and complete strangers, whom all helped made her dream of raising money, come true.

Pollution in China Causes An 8-Year-Old To Get Lung Cancer

It’s no secret that China is currently facing a very serious air pollution problem. Last month, the northern city of Harbin was forced to cancel classes, shut down the airport and close down bus routes. At the time, the air pollution was 40 times higher than the international safety standard set by the World Health Organization.

The density of fine particulate matter is used to determine air quality. According to the World Health Organization, anything below 25 micrograms per cubic meter is safe. Harbin was well above 600 micrograms per cubic meter and some areas went as high as 1000.

Wu Kai, a citizen of Harbin told Huffington Post “I couldn’t see anything outside the window of my apartment, and I thought it was snowing, then I realized it wasn’t snow. I have not seen the sun for a long time.”

Now, China is dealing with its youngest lung cancer case- an 8-year-old girl. Doctors state that this is a direct consequence of the air pollution while living near a major road in the eastern province of Jiangsu. According to the American Cancer Society, the average age for lung cancer diagnosis is 70.

In the past 30 years in China, lung cancer deaths have multiplied profusely and cancer is currently the leading cause of death.

Designer Chiu Chih explored the idea of what could potentially be the future of China if the air pollution continues to harm its inhabitants. This included oxygen masks which would have to be worn in the smog-ridden area. Unfortunately, this may turn into a reality.

(source)

Asian Women Don’t Get Breast Cancer?

Photo by Richard Cavosora, courtesy of Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum’s “A Book of Hope: Stories of Healing to Honor Asian American & Pacific Islander Cancer Survivors.”

We may be nearing the end of October, but that doesn’t mean breast cancer awareness stops here. The most commonly diagnosed cancer among Asian American women is something we have to be vigilant about year-round. Here, a personal story about one woman fighting for awareness in the Asian American community.

“Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”

What if you heard these words from a medical professional? Susan Shinagawa did in 1991 after finding a lump in her breast during her monthly self-exam. Today, it’s those words that drive the work she now does. Shinagawa wants to make sure that no other woman of Asian descent will hear these words and that all women regularly get screened for breast cancer.

A decade ago, Shinagawa was working as a program administrator at an academic cancer center in San Diego, Calif. She says that, at the time, she knew very little about cancer even though she worked at the center. A friend of hers was giving breast self-examination (BSE) workshops and asked Shinagawa to attend. So she went to support her friend.

At the workshop, Shinagawa’s friend mentioned several risk factors for breast cancer that caught her attention. She had a couple of those risk factors and decided that she should start doing BSE. She began doing monthly BSE and recorded what she felt each month on a breast map.

“After several months of doing monthly self-exams, I felt something completely different in May 1991 than I’d ever felt,” Shinagawa says during our phone interview. “It was really obvious and just underneath my skin. I could even look straight down and see this lump sticking out.”

Shinagawa was preparing to take a leave of absence from work to join her naval pilot husband in Florida for a year. Before she left, she decided to get the lump checked out.

Her mammogram came out negative. However, says Shinagawa, at that time, 40 percent of all pre-menopausal women had false negative mammograms. The diagnostic radiologist decided to do a sonogram, which showed Shinagawa’s lump to be a solid mass, and not cystic. So Shinagawa went to see a surgical oncologist, who told her that she had fibrocystic breast disease, a.k.a. lumpy breasts. He told her that she had nothing to worry about, that she was too young to have breast cancer, she had no family history of it and besides, “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”

“At that time, I really didn’t know anything about breast cancer or cancer statistics. So his comments really didn’t hit me,” says Shinagawa. “All I was thinking was, ‘I’m young and this is what I want to hear.’” But a little voice inside Shinagawa’s head kept telling her that something was going on.

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