People coming and going at the Kunming Train Station this past weekend were greeted by a strange site just outside the depot's main gate — a young woman dressed in a white wedding gown. She is not married, but is instead looking for a man who will take her as a bride in exchange for helping to save her brother's life.
The unwed bride is named Huang Xiju (黄习菊), and she is offering her hand in marriage to anyone willing to give her 300,000 yuan (US$48,000) or more. Huang's brother suffers from leukemia — called baixuebing (白血病) in Chinese. Their family is unable to cover the cost of previous treatments or of the bone-marrow transplant he now needs to survive.
And so the 24 year-old Huang stands outside of the train station, explaining the plight of her sibling to anyone who will listen. She also carries a sign, which reads in part:
My brother suffers from leukemia, and he has more than 300,000 yuan in medical bills after a bone marrow transplant was rejected. With 300,000 yuan and new treatment, he can be completely cured. Due to insufficient money to pay the cost of treatment, I offer myself for marriage! If anyone is willing to pay the cost of treatment for my brother, you can immediately take me on the train home and complete the [marriage] formalities.
The sign goes on to explain that Huang is a native of Guizhou and that she has a college degree. When asked by reporters for the Yangzhou Evening News how she came to make such a drastic offer, Huang explained that her family is completely unable to pay for either their medical debt or new treatments.
Her brother, she said, has been fighting leukemia for three years and has not been able to work during that time. In addition, the siblings' mother passed away at the end of 2014, leaving Huang and her brother without many alternatives.
Bone marrow and stem cell donations for those suffering from leukemia are difficult to obtain in many countries around the world. An estimated 70 percent of all people in need do not have a family member that is a genetic match, meaning donor banks are incredibly important. On the mainland, the China Marrow Donor Program has a list of 1.83 million potential contributors, but as recently as 2012 supplied a relatively small 3,228 people with transplants.
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