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Fangcheng nurse donates stem cells to save leukemia patient

Updated: Oct 27, 2017 Print
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Chen Dongxue, a 23-year-old nurse in Fangcheng county, Nanyang, donated her hematopoietic stem cells to a leukemia patient who was more than 1,000 kilometers away in Beijing on Oct 23.

Chen signed up for the China Marrow Donor Program in May 2016 during a publicity campaign. Later this year, she received a message that her stem cells matched a patient. Without hesitation, she agreed.

When her mother first heard the news, she expressed concerns. All mothers fear for their child when he or she is about to have an operation. Leveraging her medical and psychological knowledge, Chen eventually persuaded her mother to support her.

The four-hour collection operation was conducted at the Henan Provincial People's Hospital. Upon completion, her stem cells were taken by the patient's attending doctor to Beijing.

"It's really not a big deal," said Chen after the donation. "I just did what a medical worker should do, while helping myself fulfill the wish to save other people's lives. I hope the patient will recover soon."

This is the 6th marrow donation case conducted in Fangcheng and the 33rd in Nanyang. Representatives from the Red Cross Society of Nanyang and Henan Province came to the hospital to visit Chen and offer her a gift of appreciation.

According to statistics released by the Red Cross Society of China in 2016, about four to six of every 100,000 people in China suffers from leukemia. The country records about 40,000 new leukemia patients every year.

As of October 2016, there were 2.31 million potential stem cell donors signed up for the Chinese Marrow Donor Program. Only around 6,000 of them have been successfully matched. The society needs more people like Chen to come forward.

Representatives from the Red Cross Society of Nanyang and Henan Province visit Chen in hospital. [Photo by Yu Xiaoxia/Nanyang Evening Post]

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