Sat, Jan 03, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Hengchun school launches fundraiser to help student

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

An elementary school in Pingtung County has launched a fundraising campaign to help one of its students — a 12-year-old boy battling cancer.

Huang Zi-ming (黃資名) found out last October that he suffers from the late stages of cerebral cancer. His cancer cannot be removed by operation nor cured with radiotherapy. All the doctors can do is treat him with the cancer-controlling medicine Temodal, which costs over NT$70,000 per month.

Last month, Huang’s school, Hengchun Elementary School, launched an online appeal for financial donations to help his family pay for the sixth-grader’s medical bills.

His classmates have crafted over 1,000 mobile phone straps to sell in Taipei to raise money for Huang, his father said.

The father was an employee with an engineering company and worked at different construction sites islandwide over the past 20 years. He quit his job in November to keep Huang company at his sickbed in I-Shou University E-Da Hospital in Kaohsiung County.

The senior Huang said that after Huang Zi-ming was transferred to E-Da Hospital that same month, he and his wife have also moved into the hospital to tend to their child around the clock.

Yesterday, the non-profit Chou Ta-kuan Cultural and Education Foundation presented Huang Zi-ming with a scholarship in recognition of his fervent love of life and courage in fighting against the cancer.

Huang Zi-ming is an independent and well-behaved child who used to take long-haul buses to the hospital by himself every time he got severe headaches, before he found out he had cancer. His father was often not around because of his work and his mother was tied to household chores and taking care of Huang Zi-ming’s three siblings.

Several days after learning he had cancer, Huang Zi-ming’s classmates left for a graduation trip to other southern cities.

Despite his cancer diagnosis, he asked his father to drive him to catch up with his classmates. He spent one day sightseeing with them in Tainan City.

The boy’s dream now is to take part in his elementary school’s sixth grade commencement ceremony in June, saying he has made a deal with his father that he will take part in his commencement. Huang Zi-ming’s teacher, Chen Shu-fang (陳淑芳), said the boy was exceptionally diligent and always had excellent academic performance.

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