In China, Zhang Di made the decision to have an abortion after finding out her 16-year-old sister, Zhang Wenhui, needed a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Doctors told Zhang Di that a transplant was her sister’s best hope and that she was a 100% match.
Her younger sibling was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is the most common form of childhood cancer and is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. In a healthy child, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells that become mature blood cells over time; but in a child with leukemia, a blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell.
Tragically, in most cases, if this type of cancer goes untreated the patient dies within a few months.
Zhang Di was told that the bone marrow transplant could harm her unborn baby so she decided to have an abortion. According to the National Institute of Health, a bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells.
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Di said, “It’s one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. But my child isn’t born yet and my sister is already 16. I just want to save my sister – we can have a child a few years later.”
However, Zhang Di’s husband, Li Zhenxing, was against the abortion and so was his family.
He said, “I was very much against it – as was my family. But in the end we understood Zhang Di’s thinking and decided to support her. We can try for a child again after two years.”
Unfortunately, Zhang Di’s parents were only partial transplant matches for Wenhui and were initially opposed to Di’s decision to have an abortion as well.
Zhang Di’s mother Chien, said, “I thought the world was ending when we heard the diagnosis. It was the worst thing in the world.”
The Daily Mail reports that the family has decided not to tell Wenhui about the severity of the leukemia. Additionally, the family chose to keep the abortion from her because they don’t want it to affect her mental health. Chien said, “She needs to remain positive and have hope for the tough battle that she has to face to recover her health.”
Now Di’s mother has told reporters that they cannot afford the nearly $100,000 for the transplant after spending over $14,000 on chemotherapy. Currently, they are hoping that kind-hearted people will help them out financially.