Monday, March 12, 2007

American photographer sells pictures online to aid Chinese ill boy

An American photographer recently started selling his pictures online in order to help a Chinese boy who suffers from leukaemia. The moving story began from his visit to Guilin last year.

60-year-old Ray is a retired engineer living in Seattle. After retirement, he spent much of his time taking scenery pictures and later became a professional scenery photographer.

In April 2006, he travelled to China and met Wu Meijuan in Guilin. Wu was then a sophomore studying in Guilin Tourism College. They talked in English and soon became good friends. Before leaving, the two left their email addresses and kept in thouch after Ray returned to the US.

In November 2006, Wu learned that her cousin suffered from a serious illness and in order to cure his disease, his family had incurred several thousand yuan of debt. When visiting her cousin, Wu was amazed to see that the eight-year-old boy, looked skinny and pale. He was lying in bed quietly.

Her uncle told her that the boy had got leukaemia and had stayed in hospital for half a year. They had already spent nearly 100,000 yuan in order to cure his disease. But since they had run out of money, the boy had had to leave the hospital.

Wu later told Ray about her cousin’s illness in an email. Ray answered her email very soon, saying that he would do anything he could to help them. Ray also asked Wu to fax her consin’s medical reports to him.

In a month’s time, Ray contacted one of his friends, a doctor in Shanghai and talked to a charity organization and a hospital in Shanghai. They all agreed to offer medical treatment for the boy free of charge. When the boy was transferred to the Shanghai hospital, Ray often contacted the doctors in Shanghai asking about the boy’s illness. He also sent some money to the boy.

In February this year, the boy became much better and returned to his native province of Jiangxi after a month’s treatment in Shanghai. His doctor, Ray’s friends, gave him some oral medicine, which could last him through three months, and told him that once he had taken all this medicine, he should return to Shanghai immediately.

At the same time, Ray was always very concerned about how to pay for the boy’s medical costs in his next stage of treatment. On February 26, this year, Ray organized a private exhibition for his pictures in Seattle. He then sent all the money collected from the exhibition to Wu.

Later, Ray wrote an article in his personal website about the boy’s illness, asking the public to donate money for the boy. He also sold his scenery pictures at low prices and said he would use all the money he earned to treat the boy’s disease.

On March 4, Ray sold his first picture at 50 US dollars online and he soon sent the money to China.

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