An eight-year-old boy from East China who piled on 10kg in two months to save his sick father could finally soon go in his dream holiday to Australia.
Cao Yinpeng was hailed by his family and friends saying he’s a hero after he gained weight so he could donate bone marrow to his father Mr. Cao Lei, who was diagnosed with leukemia.
Ms. Zhang Lin, the boy’s mother said that the family forced to sell their apartment and now share a home with her parents and in-laws.
But donations poured on the family where more than 5,300 people donated a total of 200,000 yuan (S$41,010) since Mr. Cao underwent a haematopoietic stem cell transplant at the Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University on July 6.
“Many strangers visited the hospital to see us, bringing us fruit and flowers,” she said.
“They’ve given me the strength to face this difficulty. We’re thankful that so many people offered to help us.”
Mr. Cao was diagnosed with leukemia in January. By the time he finished his fourth round of chemotherapy, only to find out that the only suitable donor was his son.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to allow him to be a donor,” Ms Zhang said. Adding that she knew that he was her husband’s only hope to survive.
Though the child’s weight were still far short for the 45kg minimum required to safely extract the vital cells, Yinpeng began bulking up to reach the required weight.
Doctors also said that Mr. Cao’s parents are too old to be donors and China Marrow Donor Programme nationwide search found no other matches.
Ms. Zhang encourages her son to have all kinds of dishes telling, “You need to have more to save your father.”
Yinpeng also spent more time exercising for strength as he walk every night for at least an hour around their residential community.
Ms. Zhang said Yinpeng had gained 10kg, which doctors could begin preparing for a transplant. Nurses extracted 700 to 800ml of blood every week in the run-up to the operation, as the boy looks sluggish and pale.
“The father is recovering well so far,” said Dr Sang Wei, one of the doctors treating Mr Cao.
“The boy impressed medical workers a lot with his optimism.” Doctor Sang Wei added.