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Love Turns Despair of Young Leukemia Patient into Hope

Love Turns Despair of Young Leukemia Patient into Hope

Feng Wei Feng Wei
ByJosiah Li April 01, 2020
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From 2016 to the present, Feng Wei has suffered from leukemia, but it feels as if he had has had the disease his whole lifetime. But now his medication has stopped, and he has regained 60%-70% of his original healthy state. Many stories in which love was shown to him turned the despair that this young 30-something man felt into hope.

Feng Wei lives in a village in Kaifeng Tongxu County, Henan Province, and has a daughter and a son. His father is a migrant worker and his mother has been a paraplegic for more than ten years.  Before acquiring leukemia, Feng and his wife worked in different places all year round. Because they did not have fixed employment, they travelled to various jobs in different cities.

Feng Wei is a chef. After the 2016 Spring Festival, he began to offer stir-fry pancakes and stir-fry dishes in Beijing's Fangshan District. To his surprise, his business quickly boomed, and he was making 500-600 yuan a day.  His business was so good that he could not manage it on his own. So his wife sent their younger son to a relative's home to be taken care of and went to Beijing to assist him. As they were becoming more prosperous, something unfortunate happened.

Around April 5, 2016, Feng Wei felt fatigued, had a low fever, and found several blood clots on his body.  He was terrified, but only bought some medicine at a nearby pharmacy. A medical worker advised him go to a hospital for examination, but he refused because he was concerned about the cost.

In the following days, his symptoms got increasingly serious. While sleeping at night, he would suddenly find his ear bleeding and had to insert cotton balls. The next morning he would find a lot of blood on the pillow. Soon, his eyes began to bleed, so much so that he could not see clearly. He felt increasingly tired and would do nothing but sleep.  Nevertheless, during this period, he continued his business. He would go to the market at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. to buy vegetables, and during the day he sold fried pancakes at building sites.

April 19th was the day he remembers very clearly. That morning, while he was about to drag his tired body out to sell stir-fry pancakes, he found that his eyes could not distinguish the four seasonings he used in his food. Barely able to work, a friend in Beijing drove him to a hospital.

Feng Wei was diagnosed with leukemia at the 307th Hospital of Military Chinese People's Liberation Army (the 307 Hospital), and could not sleep all night after hearing this horrible news. 

The doctor told him that he must be hospitalized immediately or else his whole body would bleed and his life would be threatened.   He was admitted to the hospital even though his deposit was insufficient.

During the treatment and fundraising events that followed, Feng could not face people because he wanted to sleep and never wake up again. The burden of work fell on his wife's shoulders.

On the first day of his hospitalization, the doctors told him five times that his condition was critical. Feng's wife kept signing the reports while panicking because she felt totally lost. From Feng’s diagnosis through his treatment, she gave up hope.

Learning that Feng Wei had gotten leukemia, his hometown mates rang him to tell him treatment back home could be reimbursed, but his wife insisted on receiving treatment in Beijing.

Faced with high medical costs, the rural family struggled greatly. Though they had managed to raise 30,000 yuan from their hometown, the cost had already reached around 200,000 yuan for only three chemotherapy treatments.

Feng Wei tells a story that is painful for him to recall. He cannot forget: how one day, during those helpless moments of fundraising, his wife went outside to kneel down to beg passersby for money and kept kowtowing so much that her head hurt.

Another moment that Feng Wei cannot forget occurred in August 2016. He and his wife were on the way to Beijing for a third round of chemotherapy when they encountered heavy rain. The couple took the subway to Qili Zhuang station and then walked nearly a kilometer to the 307 Hospital carrying a few bags. Both were soaked.  Unable to be admitted to the hospital that day, the two had to spend the night at the clinic. His wife told the staff that Feng was coming for chemotherapy. After searching hard, she managed to find him a foam mat in the corridor, while she slept sitting up for the night.

When Feng Wei's condition began to get better, his wife started working as an au pair in Beijing. She is considerate and kindhearted, so the job was suitable for her.  However, she could not return to her position after the 2020 Spring Festival because of the pandemic.  So on March 18, she went to work for Foxconn in Zhengzhou.

Knowing Feng Wei had fallen ill, his Christian aunt, who lives in the suburb of Shunyi, Beijing, started to pray for him. On April 30, 2016, Brother Lv from the Beijing metropolitan area, accompanied by his wife and several fellow Christians, was distributing gospel leaflets in a street market. That was where they happened to meet the aunt and cousin, who were selling slippers. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lv then went to the couple’s ward and donated 2,000 yuan to Feng, encouraging him and his wife to seek the Lord’s help in overcoming his illness. Deeply concerned for his health, Mr. Lv, together with Feng Wei's aunt and cousin, invited their church pastors to pray for him. Lv and others handed out letters on Sundays to people attending the church asking for help. Feng’s case was soon taken up by sister Liu Yunzhu, who is part of the Happy Candlelight Fellowship, a ministry aimed at helping patients.

Sister Liu informed Sister Jin, the person in charge of the Fellowship, of Feng situation. Two days later, Sister Liu and a brother went to the 307 Hospital to visit Feng. A few days later, the Fellowship’s 80-year-old beloved grandmother, accompanied by Sister Jin and others, visited Feng again.  Since then, the Happy Candlelight Fellowship had been supporting Feng’s treatment through prayer, encouragement, comfort, and financial aid.

The Fellowship has helped many people--powerless patients who were awarded the Global Chinese Life Loving Award, other people who received the United Nations Life Loving Award, and some cancer patients who are optimistic about life. Each of these stories gave Feng Wei great encouragement and hope to overcome his illness.

The beloved grandmother not only visited Feng Wei, but also often comforted and encouraged him via social platforms. To him, her caring had the feel of a warm family. Every time Feng came to Beijing for examination, she would give him gifts. She often put money in his shoe or biscuit box which he would not discover until he got home. Beloved grandmother, who turns 90 this year, often says, "To live is to work for the Lord."

Sister Jin helped Feng Wei to apply for financial assistance from the Easy Fund, and often gave him encouragement and hope when he felt weak and desperate.  A friend of a brother from the Happy Candlelight Fellowship donated 10,000 yuan to Feng.  An unnamed Christian in the Fellowship donated 6,000 yuan to his two children. Others gave them books, sometimes with hundreds of yuan hidden inside.    

The two children have always been Feng Wei's biggest concern. A sister from Xinjiang encouraged him to receive treatment with peace of mind by saying, "You can rest assured that even if there is an unexpected event, I will help educate your children." For three or four months the sister had helped to care for a 10-year-old son left by a Christian who died of cancer.

Some family groups in the church also prayed and donated money for Feng. Among them was Liu, who was in her 60s. She took people to visit Feng, prayed many times for the couple, and cared for him during for those years.

Another Christian insisted on helping Feng Wei to buy medicine and deliver it to him. Later, when he went for reexamination, there were Christians who kept him in their home for half a month and treated him like family.    A sister who drives taxi often helped Feng by giving him money and appealing to her colleagues to donate money. The kindness of these Christians made the Fengs feel love even stronger than that of their family and helped them come to know the Savior Jesus Christ. On September 25, 2016, more than five months after Feng Wei was diagnosed, the couple was baptized at the church.

Looking back on his journey, Feng Wei’s wife gratefully said, "On this road I thank everyone who helped me. Had it not been for the Lord's love, I don’t think I could have survived and could have had the courage to face reality...Although I am very poor, my mood is very happy. It is good enough for me when I can meet such kind brothers and sisters no matter where I go. The happiest thing in this life is knowing the Lord Jesus. Hardship is nothing. I am grateful for having enough food. I am well-satisfied seeing my children have their father and having a complete home."

"I hope I can help others when I'm well and that's why I live." Feng Wei said, "I'm very reluctant to accept help sometimes as I owe people so much."

Feng is currently farming around 5 acres of land at home as well as taking care of children. His neighbors gave him a lot for the treatment fees, and when they need help he will help them immediately.

Feng was given help from many loving strangers through the Easy Fund. Since then, whenever he sees other patients trying to raise funds he will donate up to 30, 50, or 100 yuan for them.  He also gives produce from his farm to people who helped him.

Sometimes when he comes back to Beijing for reexamination, Feng will use his cooking skills to prepare a feast for the dear beloved grandmother and other fellow Christians.  He also uses his treatment experience to comfort, encourage, and advise patients facing similar health issues.

Feng’s daughter is in the sixth grade of primary school, and her academic performance has been outstanding. Among the four or five hundred students in her school, she has scored No. 1 in the exams. The living room wall is filled with the certificates and awards she has received.

Feng expects his daughter to study at a university in Beijing and to work there after graduation.  Many of the brothers and sisters of the Happy Candlelight Fellowship will be entering old age, and he hopes that his daughter can join the Fellowship in the future.

Feng Wei was unfortunate to have suffered from this painful disease at such a young age, with the treatment cost reaching nearly 500,000 yuan.  During treatment, he often despaired and wanted to die.  He was also lucky because his type of leukemia is “M3,” the mildest form.  He continues to recover very well.

He was to have another examination after this year’s Spring Festival, but it has been delayed by the outbreak. He has decided that, when the outbreak is over, he will go to the hospital for reexamination, and afterwards, he will go to the Happy Candlelight Fellowship to share his testimony and give glory to God.

 

-  Translated by Charlie Li

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