Girl at center of blog that went viral dies

Luo Er's five-year-old daughter, Luo Yixiao who is suffering from leukemia and is now in an ICU. Photo: Weibo

A 5-year-old girl with leukemia has died a month after her father’s fund-raising blog went viral. It first enchanted and later angered many Chinese web users.

The girl, nicknamed Xiao Xiao, died at Shenzhen University Health Science Center at 6am on Saturday. Her parents have donated her body to clinical research.

Gao Min with Shenzhen Red Cross Society said that Xiao Xiao’s parents had bought her some new clothes and planned to dress her up as Santa Claus to celebrate Christmas.

Her father Luo Er first wrote about Xiao Xiao on November 25. She was diagnosed with a low blood platelet count in September and hospitalized soon after.

To raise money “in a decent way” for her treatment, Luo began writing about his daughter and her illness on WeChat.

His journals were not widely read until Xiaotongren, a Shenzhen finance company, said it would donate 1 yuan (15 US cents) for each reposting of the article. It was then that the heart-wrenching article “Luo Yixiao (her real name), Stop,” went viral.

Luo described how he was signing up for the Red Cross Angel Plan.

“I do not want to take advantage of the government,” he wrote. “I want to tell my daughter that I am doing all I can, but she must wait for me.”

He chided his daughter in the article: “Luo Yixiao, don’t run away! You must be a good girl and come home with me. If you run away to heaven, even if you are an angel, one day when we meet there I will not talk to you.”

As of November 30, the article had been read and liked by more than 100,000 people on WeChat, raising more than 2 million yuan from Xiaotongren and from readers.

As Luo’s journal took off, his private life was exposed and it was soon disclosed that he owned three apartments, implying that he appeared to have the means to fund his daughter’s treatment without appealing to the public.

Lou was denounced as a cheat who had taken advantage of people’s kindness.

Luo made no secret of having three apartments but said he was planning to use the money raised to set up a foundation for children living with leukemia.

He responded said on Saturday that he had never expected his daughter to pass away so quickly. He expressed his gratitude to everyone who had tried to help.

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