Express Digest

Girl tells her poor parents to stop treating her cancer

They say there is no pain greater than to be helpless in the face of a loved one’s suffering.

A terminally ill girl in China has told her parents to stop treating her after the couple spent all their savings on her medical bills before running into debts.

In tears, 14-year-old Li Xiaoqing told her impoverished parents, who were also crying: ‘Please give me up. I don’t want to be your burden.’ 

Li Xiaoqing and her parents hug and cry as the girl tells her parents to ‘give up’ on her

Xiaoqing wipes her mother’s tears after she told her parents she didn’t want to be their burden

Xiaoqing, from China, was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer in 2014

A set of tear-jerking pictures have captured how the family broken down in tears while hugging each other as 14-year-old Li Xiaoqing shared her thoughts with her impoverished parents on November 21. 

According to reports from Chinese media, Xiaoqing was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer in May, 2014. Her cancer was said to have reached the late stages.


Michael Buble’s three-year-old son Noah was diagnosed with this rare form of liver cancer in November. 

Hepatoblastoma is known to primarily affect children before the age of three. The rare disease is diagnosed in fewer than one in a million children.

It’s deemed to be a particularly aggressive form of cancer, spreading to other areas of the body very quickly.

The cause of the disease is unknown, but there are a few disorders that are known to increase the risk. 

If caught early, surgery can be used to remove the cancerous cells – but it becomes untreatable when it metastasises. 

Outlook depends on the extent of the disease, size and location of the tumour and how old the child is. 

Source: Stanford Children’s Health 

She and her family are originally from Nanle County in central China’s Henan Province. She lives with her parents, an elder brother, a younger sister and her grandmother on the farm. 

However, doctors from a hospital in Puyang, the nearest city, said they were able to treat the illness due to limited medical resources. Therefore, they suggested the family seek medical help from hospitals in Beijing.

Xiaoqing’s parents decided to take Xiaoqing to the capital city, which is 510 kilometres (316 miles) away or a five-hour drive. 

After examination, doctors from the Beijing Children’s Hospital suggested Xiaoqing undergo chemotherapy first because her tumour was too big. They said an operation was possible once Xiaoqing’s tumour becomes smaller.

The couple acknowledged the suggestion. Instead of getting Xiaqing treated in Beijing, which would be expensive, they took the medical plan to the People’s Hospital in Puyang city for doctors follow – so that they could afford the treatment.

Xiaoqing suspended her school and underwent five rounds of chemotherapy in the following few months in Puyang. 

Sadly, her condition worsened and her parents had to take her to Beijing again for more advanced treatment.

Xiaoqing’s parents accompanied Xiaoqing as she received treatment in Beijing, leaving Xiaoqing’s siblings and grandmother in their hometown.

Xiaoqing’s mother looks after Xiaoqing as the girl is being treated in a hospital in Beijing

The girls’ mother cries in desperation in their small room on the outskirts of Beijing

Xiaoqing’s parents have rented a flat two hours away from the hospital to look after the girl

Xiangping, the only breadwinner of the family, is a farmer and part-time welder. 

While her daughter was being treated in the hospital, Xiangping slept in the woods or in underground passages for about a month’s time in order to save money.

It’s said that there was one time he had his duvet and luggage stolen while sleeping outdoors. 

Afterwards, Xiangping and his wife rented a small room on the outskirts of the city – a two-hour journey to the hospital. Xiaoqing would stay in the hospital when she had to receive treatment, but in the small flat when she didn’t need to. 

Her father would take whatever odd jobs he could find to make ends meet.

Reports claimed that Xiaoqing underwent 20 rounds of chemotherapy between November 2015 and November 2017. Her family had to spent £33,000 for the treatment. 

For a while, Xiaoqing’s father slept in the woods or in underground passages to save money

Xiaoqing had 20 rounds of chemotherapy between November 2015 and November 2017

But the Xiaoqing’s parents said no matter how hard it is, they would not stop treating the girl

On November 21, Xiaoqing found out that her condition hadn’t improved and she had to undergo chemotherapy again. She saw her worrisome parents weeping because they didn’t have any more money to afford the treatment.

Xiaoqing reportedly told her father while hugging her mother: ‘Dad, I don’t want more chemotherapy. 

‘Our family don’t have money any more. When could you pay back all the debts. 

‘Please give me up. I don’t want to be your burden. Without me, you still have my brother and sister.’ 

The family of three then cried in each other’s arms. Xiaoqing’s parents said they would carry on treating their daughter no matter how hard the process would be.

To help with the family, volunteers from Tencent Charity in China a donation page to help with the family. 

So far, 63215.86 yuan (£7,093) has been donated. The target of the charity project is 500,000 yuan (56,103).  


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